Dwyane Wade has long been one of the premier stars of the NBA All-Star festivities, having won the Skills Challenge twice, in addition to taking home the Most Valuable Player trophy from the All-Star Game in 2010.
This year he’ll be making his 10th appearance in the exhibition game despite a number of “DNPs” next to his name, primarily due to gimpy knees.
The latest ailments however have been different. Migraines kept him out of the win in Phoenix and “Foot Drop” prevented him from taking part in the thriller at Golden State.
Yet, despite the possible severity of “drop foot,” Wade isn’t worried.
“It was bizarre stuff,” Wade said. “I started feeling a little something in my foot, getting a little numb before the game, but you don’t think nothing of it. Then as time went on it started going up my leg a little bit, so the nerve of my leg kind of shut down.
“It’s a just a weird thing, but I’m not really worried about it,” Wade said. “The foot is back. It ain’t dropped no more. It’s lifted.”
The rest of the Miami Heat squad, not taking part in the All-Star Weekend fun, will be enjoying nearly a weeks’ worth of free time, having last played on Wednesday night and won’t suit up again until Tuesday in Dallas. And if you’re affiliated with the Heat in some way, shape or form, you probably would like to see Dwyane sitting out the game and making the most of rest, but he didn’t want to disappoint his fans.
Nevertheless, he’s being sensible about it.
“I’ll play,” Wade said during the All-Star media session on Friday. “I told [East coach Frank Vogel] that I was going to get out there and have a little fun. Then I’m going to sit down.”
Teammate, LeBron James is among those hoping Wade’s minutes are kept to a minimum in order to avoid any further damage as his running mate has missed 15 of the Heat’s 51 games thus far and will no doubt miss more.
Just last month, James pointed out that the absence of Wade from time to time has become somewhat of an issue.
“Guys think it’s easy, but it’s tough,” said the MVP. “We have a team built on chemistry, built on rhythm. With so many of the guys being in and out, and the concern with D-Wade, it’s been tough on all of us. We’ve got to go in with the mindset sometimes that he’s not playing, as opposed to: Is he playing?”
He reiterated his point in an interview with NBA Insider, David Aldridge, this weekend by saying: “We played some good basketball this year, but we’ve been up and down as far as our chemistry because we had guys in and out of the line-up.
“At this point on, if we can guys on the floor and get that camaraderie right, then I think that’s the most important thing. For the first time all year, we’ve been able to have close to 15 guys who can suit up for a game.”
That was partly LeBron venting his frustration with Wade’s injuries, which to some extent can’t be helped, but also him venting his frustration with Erik Spoelstra’s in ability to find a permanent replacement, unlike last season when Mike Miller was the go to guy when Wade wasn’t able to suit up. This term Ray Allen, Roger Mason Jr and James Jones have all had a crack at the whip, but to no avail. Toney Douglas is the latest to try out for the role, but the jury is still out on whether he is the long-term answer.
At the end of the day, as long Dwyane Wade’s minutes are kept in check then all parties will leave New Orleans happy.
Although if you were in Frank Vogel’s position wouldn’t you take advantage of the chance to weaken your biggest in the Eastern Conference? Just a thought.