It says here that we’re supposed to be objective when covering the NBA. But honestly? Last night the Dime crew was collectively pulling for Dwyane Wade‘s team to win. Knowing we’d be dropping Dime #54 this week, having our cover guy notch a big win over the Celtics would be a nice treat for everybody involved.
But in reality, the way Heat/Celtics played out was probably more fitting considering D-Wade’s story. Pouring in a season-high 44 points, along with seven assists and three steals, there wasn’t much more Wade could have done for his team. He even got a steal from Ray Allen and threw down a go-ahead dunk with 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter, only to have his team out-executed on Boston’s last chance in regulation, then fall short in overtime despite their leader’s best efforts. It’s been the story of the last two seasons for D-Wade.
Carrying a bigger load than fellow superstars like Kobe, LeBron, Dwight, ‘Melo, Dirk and Duncan, Wade put together perhaps the most complete season of any player in the League in ’08-09, and this season it’s been more of the same (26.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 6.2 apg, 1.7 spg, 1.2 bpg). But with his team far from consideration as a legit title contender (17-16 through Wednesday), odds are he’ll fail to reach his ultimate goal in 2010 when it’s all said and done.
When we got up with D-Wade for his fourth Dime cover in November — the same day he’d face the Cavs on national TV and unleash what was maybe the dunk of the year on Anderson Varejao — he talked about where that next championship ring may come from. With so much attention being paid to free agency next summer, Wade has a vision for where he, LeBron, Joe Johnson and the other top free agents will end up. (Hint: He wants to play for a stacked squad.) In his feature interview with Dime’s Austin Burton, D-Wade also talks about how he’s grown since he came into the League and he really “arrived” in ’06 when he led Miami to its first and only ‘chip. He talks about dealing with off-court distractions (beyond free agency, a few have popped up in his personal life) and reaching new levels as a player and pitchman (photographer Jeffery Salter shot Wade for us during the launch event of the Air Jordan 2010).
After D-Wade, the rest of Dime #54 (we think) delivers the goods. Gerald Narciso connected with Caron Butler at his home in D.C. for a feature, while contributor Jack Jensen profiled Houston’s Aaron Brooks, one of the League’s surprise stars since the ’09 playoffs. And world traveler Aron Phillips, among other places, went to Chicago where we shot Tyrus Thomas for “Ink.” We’ve also got stuff with Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, Greg Oden and Mike Conley.
Remember Kelvin Torbert? We tracked down the former national high school P.O.Y. and Michigan State product playing pro ball in Belgium, and introduce (some) readers to current high school sensations Josh Smith and Trevor Cooney. March Madness and NBA voice Gus Johnson gives a lesson on how to become a sports broadcaster, L.A. jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills reveals how he created the Lakers’ 2009 championship rings, and the folks at Jordan Brand go behind the scenes of making the Air Jordan 2010. And there’s more inside in the issue.
All told, for the first issue of the new season, we’re hyped about it. Check out the digital version of Dime #54 HERE, and look for it on newsstands nationwide.