Ranking the 50 greatest NBA players of all time

The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
28 of 51
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images /

24. Dwyane Wade

  • Resume: 16 seasons, 3 NBA championships, 1 NBA Finals MVP Award, 8-time All-NBA selection, 13-time NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP, 3-time NBA All-Defensive Team, 1-time NBA leader in scoring, Miami Heat’s all-time leading scorer
  • Stats: 22.0 PPG, 5.4 APG, 4.7 RPG, 1.5 SPG, .480/.293/.765 shooting splits, 23.5 career PER, 120.7 win shares

D-Wade’s career can — and should — be divided into two separate entities: pre-LeBron James Wade and post-LeBron James Wade (no, we’re not counting the Chicago Bulls or Cleveland Cavaliers crap).

Pre-LeBron James Wade was one of the most electrifying players in the league, a guy who could carry the Heat on his back…and did in the 2006 NBA Finals when absolutely took over, averaging 39.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in four wins. He won that Finals MVP Award in just his third season in the league.

Often referred to as a “poor man’s MJ,” Flash gave Kobe a run for his money for best shooting guard in the league for awhile there. When LeBron James came to town, that player changed drastically. Wade going from Batman to Robin was to be expected; King James was the best player in the league and it had to happen for the good of the team. The Heat went to four consecutive NBA Finals and added two championships to Wade’s resume.

However, once LeBron took his talents to South Beach and then took them back to Ohio, Wade wasn’t the same guy. Part of that had to do with his ailing knees that eventually limited his twilight years. Still, in the wake of that slow decline in athleticism, Wade remained strikingly efficient, even without a 3-point shot to aid his transition into his latter years.

In his sendoff season, Wade supplied plenty of unforgettable moments to finish his farewell tour right. There was his improbable game-winner against the Warriors, his 30-point performance in his final home game and then a triple-double in his last NBA game ever.


Even with LeBron in Miami for four years leading the Heat to two titles, Dwyane Wade remains the face of the franchise and the greatest player in its history. To state it simply, when you’re making your personal Mount Rushmore of NBA shooting guards, you’d be a fool to leave D-Wade off it.