Throughout all eras of basketball, there have been pairs of players closely associated with each other - when thinking of one, you can’t help but associate them with the other. These dynamic duos have taken the NBA by storm and many built Hall of Fame careers off of each other, such as Stockton and Malone, Magic and Kareem, and of course Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The way these pairs dominated during their time has ushered-in many duos in the game as of late, such as Tim Duncan and Tony Parker with the Spurs and Steph and Klay in Golden State.
It reveals how pairs have impacted the league as we know it. But no tandem has made more of an impact than LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Being selected 1st and 5th, respectively, in the 2003 NBA Draft, they started their careers together. When Wade won a title with the Heat in 2006, LeBron saw his friend’s success and wanted to be a part of it as well. This prompted James to leave his hometown Cavaliers in 2010 to join D-Wade in Miami where, along with Chris Bosh, they turned the Heat into a powerhouse. They won two NBA Championships and reached the Finals four times consecutively. This caused many to consider the Heat as one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. LeBron and Wade were experiencing success in Miami, and their friendship was thriving as well.
But things changed after the 2014 season. LeBron decided to go back home to once again play for the Cavs, thus ending his dominant run with Wade. He's gone on to two more Finals appearances and a championship with Cleveland, while Wade had not been able to continue the success he previously had in Miami. These friends who had been so close, and so integral to each other’s success, seemed to be going different directions. With LeBron having returned to play for his hometown, D-Wade decided to do the same. Following last season, he signed with the Chicago Bulls.
This is how it's always been and always will be. On and off the court. Competition at its best. We love like brothers, push each other like brothers and hate to lose like we all do to our brothers. Since day 1 we've always tried to put on a show for the world to watch. My brother we continue to do it. 14 years later. #Brotherhood
Once the young faces of the league, these two have cemented themselves as all-timers, and they have developed an all-time friendship along the way. This was seen recently when Wade challenged LeBron to a bet between their hometown baseball teams in the World Series.
The Chicago Cubs victory over the Cleveland Indians declared D-Wade the winner, and LeBron had to suffer the consequences of losing. He did this by showing up to his regular-season game against Wade’s Bulls wearing a Cubs uniform on December 2nd. Wade took pleasure seeing his friend’s pre-game outfit, while James reluctantly held up his end of the deal.
It seems clear that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have impacted each other’s careers and their individual success was made better because of their partnership. The six rings, 12 finals appearances and 24 All-Star selections reveals that these are two very accomplished players, and their historic careers can only be matched by their great friendship.