The Miami Heat didn’t have the best night on Friday, suffering an historic loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks. Dwyane Wade didn’t have his best evening either, scoring 10 points on 5-for-16 shooting from the field. Regardless of what he did on the floor, though, Wade’s best moment of the night came after the game.
Wade has made jersey swaps a nightly occurrence during what has been his final year as an NBA player. After a game ends, Wade will normally seek out a player on the opposing team and swap shirts with them — sometimes it’s with a superstar, sometimes it’s with a rookie who idolized Wade growing up and wears the number three because of him, and exactly one time, it’s been with Benny the Bull.
Friday was a special occasion, though, as Wade noticed Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier sitting courtside at the game. Shazier, of course, suffered a horrifying spine injury in 2017 during a game and has not appeared on the field since. He’s been working to get back on the field, and while it’s unclear if he’ll ever get back there, Wade has been inspired by his attempted back to journey.
As such, Wade found Shazier after the game and gave him his jersey, then took to Instagram to praise him for being “a real life hero.”
Wade wasn’t the only person to show support for Shazier this week. The Steelers tolled his contract into this season and placed him on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List, with Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert saying, “We will continue to support Ryan’s efforts to return to play. Although he won’t be able to help us on the field in 2019, his leadership, insight, and emotional support have always been very valuable to us, and we look forward to his contributions in our pursuit of a championship.”