By that time, as it turns out, Wade’s knees would prove to be in on the verge of giving him all sorts of problems, and playing alongside James may have been the best thing that could have happened to him. The player formerly known as “Flash” no longer had to try to carry an entire franchise and could heavily defer to James, while still being effective enough to help the team win two consecutive championships. It’s been clear, however, that Wade has not been himself over the past few seasons – especially in the playoffs.
Many basketball fans, especially Chicago Bulls fans, have lasting memories of an exhausted and visibly weak looking Michael Jordan playing through severe illness in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Seeing him put up 38 points in 44 minutes for a narrow victory over the Utah Jazz set the bar for all athletes confronted with severe “flu-like” symptoms.
Such was not the case for Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng, who missed Thursday night’s Game 6 tilt against the Brooklyn Nets. While many of his teammates were playing with the flu [Nate Robinson could be seen vomiting on the sidelines], he was not fit to compete.
After being chided in the media for being unable to play, Deng took to Twitter to address his critics.
Those are the infamous words by LeBron James when he first became a Miami Heat that people will always remember. It was obviously a huge deal at the time due to its cockiness and the fact that it was said before the newly formed trio ever played a single game together on the court. When he said it, we all assumed that James was speaking for himself as well as for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Wade, however, will apparently be satisfied if he gets no more than a third ring. Here’s what he had to say about the matter, from Tim Reynolds of The AP:
“I feel like I need three rings. After that, I’m playing with church’s money,” Wade told The Associated Press. “I’ve always said that if I can end my career with at least three rings … I’ve already had a special career, but it would put me in that special group that only a few can say that they’re in. It would mean a lot. It would mean a lot. It would mean a lot.”