The Miami Heat are pulling out all the stops on Tuesday night for Dwyane Wade’s final home game. Wade will retire at the end of the year, and with this being the team’s last regular season game during the 2018-19 campaign, there’s no better time to celebrate what No. 3 has meant to the franchise.
Things started with perhaps the best tribute video we’ve ever seen, one that broke down the three acts of Wade’s professional career with some of those who know him best. But that was only the beginning of a lengthy evening of tributes, as the Heat planned on having miniature celebrations of Wade’s life and career throughout the game.
The first media time out saw a pre-recorded video praising the future Hall of Fame inductee, featuring someone who knows a thing about Wade’s hometown of Chicago: former president Barack Obama.
“D-Wade, congratulations on a great run!” Obama exclaimed. “Now, I know what you’re going through, cause saying goodbye to a career that you love is never easy. I’ve been there. In my case though, I didn’t have a choice. My knees were shot, so I had to give up basketball forever. You on the other hand look like you’re still hoopin’ out there, so I imagine it’s a little tougher when you’ve just completed one of the greatest careers in NBA history.
“For 16 years you’ve given us highwire dunks, big shots in big moments, more blocks than any guard in history, you were willing to sacrifice your body in the lane, and sometimes sacrifice your ego in pursuit of a title,” Obama continued. “And whenever you got knocked down you always showed us how to get back up. So you showed some Chicago spirit in you and did us proud. So, from all of us who are fans of the game, we just want to congratulate you on an extraordinary career, a career for the record books, and I hope the next phase of your life is just as fulfilling and just as spectacular as this one has been. Take care.”
Prior to the video airing, Miami made it clear they were going to pull out all the stops to praise Wade, and it doesn’t get much bigger than a video featuring effusive praise from Obama.