NBA History: 50 best NBA players of the 21st century

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Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) /

7. player. 110. . SG. Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade

50 greatest NBA players from 21st century: 7. Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade, part of the famed 2003 draft class, needed little time to establish his place in the NBA hierarchy. Wade was an All-Star in his second season and a Finals MVP in his third, pushing Miami over the Nowitzki-led Mavs. He would eventually win two more rings in 2012 and 2013, part of a string of four consecutive Finals appearances for Miami.

One of the most explosive athletes of his generation, Wade was a regular on the highlight reel. His lightning-quick first step and ability to power through contact at the rim made him the most dangerous slasher of his era. Wade suffered injuries, an unfortunate byproduct of his constant athletic exertions, but his long list of accomplishments are impossible to ignore.

Wade helped put Miami on the map, making it a destination beyond the simple appeal of the South Beach lifestyle. He led the NBA in scoring in 2008-09, averaging 30.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 7.5 assists on 49.1 percent shooting. In addition to his offensive exploits, Wade was named to three All-Defensive teams and was an effective answer to the opposition’s best guards.

With three rings on his hand, 13 All-Stars, and eight All-NBA nominations to his name, Wade will forever be remembered as one of the greatest two-guards in NBA history. He proved his mettle, both as the No. 1 option and as LeBron’s sidekick. If it weren’t for the sacrifices he made in his prime, Wade’s impressive career averages may turned out even better. There was no denying his spot in the top 10.