Dwyane Wade on Miami's History-Making Heat Wave
By Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard
Paparazzi angling for position, lights blaring, music pumping. A Milan fashion show? Try center court at the NBA Finals. The worlds of fashion and sport are like fraternal twins, each with its own identity but inextricably linked forever. Fashion houses and sports franchises both compete for the most elite clientele and the highest profile, and these two cutthroat industries leave no room for error: Be the best of the best or leave the field. One man who stands above the rest on both platforms is NBA shining star and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, whose goal right now is to bring championships to Miami. Wade’s number-three jersey was originally chosen in honor of the Holy Trinity, yet this “magic number,” as he calls it, has a double meaning today. Along with Wade, b-ball icons LeBron James and Chris Bosh took pay cuts in order to play together. “This is the beginning of a new chapter in Heat history and very exciting for both fans of the Miami Heat and the NBA,” Wade said recently.
On the court, this athletic giant reigns supreme, but when Wade’s not shooting three-pointers, he’s raising funds for his Wade’s World Foundation. Alongside his girlfriend, Hollywood stunner Gabrielle Union, he recently teamed up again with close friend and former teammate Alonzo Mourning for the 14th annual Summer Groove, which sponsored a golf classic, gala and celebrity basketball game to benefit underserved and underprivileged communities. Of course, Wade is no stranger to fans and the media: When James’ Decision was imminent, admirers and cameras followed him as he headed to Miami hot-spot eatery Prime One Twelve.
OCEAN DRIVE: You chose Prime One Twelve to witness LeBron James’ big announcement. Why that spot over all the rest?
DWYANE WADE: I have a great relationship with [owner] Myles [Chefetz]. My favorite place to be is where people take care of you and make you feel at home. Myles has done that and has always made accommodations for not only me but also the entire Miami Heat organization.
What’s your favorite entrée there?
The chicken and waffles is my thing. Myles knew that I liked it and made sure it was on the menu. I appreciate him for that.
What advice do you give to kids?
Let them know that if they have a dream, if they have a goal, they can reach it. They have to believe in themselves but also have to be willing to take that helping hand when it is offered to them. I tell them to never give up and to always fight for what they want.
So many of your dreams have come true for you. What do you still want to accomplish?
I have a lot left. I am only 28 years old, and even though that might seem “old” on the Miami Heat with the young guys we have, it is young in life. The biggest thing I can do is to continue to make an impact on this world, wherever I go, and feel that I’ve made a difference.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Think about my kids. Every morning when I wake up, I always think about Zaire and Zion, whether they’re with me or home with their mom. They are always the first thing that comes to my mind.
What has been your most memorable moment in the NBA?
Of course it would have to be the 2006 championship.
I think D. Wade is going to bring many more championships to Miami.
That is the plan, I hope so. I am in this business to win championships, not just to win basketball games. We have a long way to go, but I have a long career left. Hopefully we can bring some more championships here.
FROM TOP: Dwyane Wade and girlfriend Gabrielle Union at the 14th annual Summer Groove; Chris Bosh, Wade and LeBron James
Photographs by vallery jean/getty images (union); gustavo caballero/wireimage.com (bosh)