untung99.biz: Dwyane Book Recounts NBA Star Dwyane Wades Career In Photos And His Own Words

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Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts before taking on the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the … [+] Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 9, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Dwyane Wade can tell you exactly when it was that he first fell in love with basketball. He was just a kid growing up in inner city Chicago, and it was nearing the end of the 1990-1991 NBA season. His hometown team was ready to claim their first title.

“I was 9 when the Chicago Bulls won their first NBA championship,” Wade said of that time. “I remember being a little kid at home with my family, sitting on the floor, watching, believe it or not, on a black and white TV.”

Amidst all of the elation of the Bulls winning the first of what would be a “three-peat” and then a total of six NBA Championships throughout the 1990s, the young Wade decided that was it. Basketball would be his life.

“We were very proud to be from Chicago. So, growing up though the ‘90s, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

As a result he played hard and studied Michael Jordan’s shooting, his passing and his mythic ability for finding teammates open and getting open. Wade also said that as a young player he also worked to match Jordan’s famous work ethic.

“I watched Jordan, watched a ton of videos, way back when, on the VCR.” As he got older, Wade’s habits did not change. He’d use Jordan’s performances and “watching tape” as a way to motivate himself in his high school, college and even his NBA play. “Even after that, I watched those Jordan and Bulls videos, a lot of them before NBA games, just to get pumped up.”

Today, Dwyane Wade’s book “Dwyane,” published by Harper Collins comes out. Wade calls the 306-page memoir and its scores of on- and off-court photographs a sort of “love letter to basketball” and to his teammates, coaches, family and all though people that he says made his journey possible.

The 39-year old Wade, who retired from the NBA at the end of the 2018-19 season, has also published other books, namely A Father First (2012) and also a kids’ book called Shady Baby (2021) co-authored with his wife, Gabrielle Union. In conceptualizing this book, Wade said that he wanted to do a photographic memoir not only to include career highlights but because he regards the “visual part of the game” of basketball as such a pervasive of the fan’s experience.

A closeup of the cover of “Dwyane” —a 306-page photographic memoir by Dwyane Wade, which Wade calls … [+] a “love letter” to basketball.

cover by Harper Collins

During Wade’s 15 seasons with the Miami Heat, he won three NBA Championships (2006, 2012 and 2013), was named a 13-time All-Star and was also the NBA’s scoring champion in the 2008-2009 season.

Last Wednesday and just before the book’s release, I got to talk with Wade by phone about “Dwyane” and the motivation behind the project.

Andy Frye: You’ve put out a few books before, but “Dwyane” looks like more than just a cool coffee table book. What was your inspiration?

Dwyane Wade: Yeah, that’s what it is. It is a cool coffee table book, and my way to just wrap up my career, with memories about the game I love and the people in it. For the last 10 years I’ve been working with Bob Metelus, who shot most of the photos in the book. I’ve kind of had him track me over my career. I wanted to tell my own story about basketball, and for fans who know and follow me, to give them a closer up glimpse of the player that they see. 

(In it) I talk about my triumphs, difficulties and all those things, and I wanted to put visuals to those and not just have only words.

But in the book, you’ll see a lot of parts that include my thoughts before games and my insecurities in certain moments. The photos and words together, I think, give you more context. 

(L-R) Chris Bosh #1, Dwyane Wade #3, and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat are introduced at the … [+] HEAT Summer of 2010 Welcome Event at AmericanAirlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.


AF: In the back, the book states that you fell in love with basketball at a young age. Talk about that moment. 

Wade: At the end of my book, that’s a poem that I wrote, called “Game Over.” That’s really just a love letter to the game of basketball and everything it’s done for me. 

I remember vividly when the Chicago Bulls won (the 1990-91 NBA Finals), hearing the noise outside, the joy of my family, and the way that that championship brought my community together. It was hard growing up in inner city Chicago, and it was hard growing up living the life that we did. But in that moment it was pure joy and pride.

Another photo from “Dwyane” of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James on a boat outside Miami in 2013. Wade … [+] says of LeBron and Chris Bosh, “From them I learned so much.”

photo by Bob Metelus Studios

AF: I live in Chicago and remember Bulls championships’ special energy. Pots and pans banging, people high-fiving in the streets. 

Do you feel like you’ve provided the same joy to people in Miami?

Wade: Yeah, I do. Only because of the fans who have come up to me and shared their stories. You go out there, put your best foot forward and get the maximum effort to become the best player you can.

But then you get to 2006 and winning a championship, and hear it and what it meant to this family, or a game you had that gave them the inspiration to have their own game. All these stories I know about and understand, because I was that kid before. 

So, I understand that as players, when we are counting wins and losses, there are also people out there using the inspiration from the Miami Heat as tools for inspiration in life. It’s super dope, man.

AF: You’ve been asked a lot about the Heat, I’m sure. But tell us about your chemistry with Chris Bosh and LeBron—maybe something we don’t see.

Wade: Yeah, but it took a lot of time to get that chemistry. It’s easy to play with each other in the All-Star Game. And then when you play together in the Olympics, it’s a totally different game and the rules are different—and you have even more All-Stars on the team.

So, our first time playing together in 2010, it took a while to get comfortable with each other. We all come in with our individual greatness, it’s easy to think, “oh, it’s gonna be easy.”

VIDEO: D-Wade and LeBron make on-court chemistry look easy.

It was hard. I think throughout that process, I had to lean on LeBron. LeBron had to lean on me. We had to lean on Chris and he leaned on us. We learned a lot about each other as men. We learned a lot about each other as fathers. And all that helped us on the basketball floor and (to) know what we needed to sacrifice. We knew it was bigger than just, “I ain’t getting shots.”

Because you get to know someone intimately and understand each others’ vulnerabilities. From them I learned so much, and I learned how to win even more. I learned how to win in a different era, and in different ways. They brought the best out of me on and off the court.  

AF: You did a basketball documentary with Chance The Rapper. What was it like to produce a film and work with an artist like him?

Wade: It was called “Shot In The Dark” (2018). Chance and I, being both from the City of Chicago, had an opportunity to use our collective platforms to showcase a documentary about young men who were living the same journey and life we did. For me it was a way to highlight our community but also to pinpoint what’s going on in the Black communities.

We followed a great high school and their team for a number of years. We wanted to show an uplifting and inspiring story, but also show what it is. 

“Home Again,” a still from the Harper Collins book “Dwyane” showing Wade, pre-game, inside the FTX … [+] Arena, then known as American Airlines Arena (year 2012??)

photo by Bob Metelus

AF: Speaking of musicians, Jimmy Buffett is a passionate Miami Heat fan. So much so he even got thrown out a Heat-Knicks game.

Have you hung out with Buffett at all, or ever shoot some baskets?

Wade: No, well, I didn’t know he got thrown out of a game! (Laughs.) He never did when I was playing, of course.

But, yeah, he’s a huge Heat fan, and sometimes it’s like that. I know Pat Riley is a huge fan of his too, and see him around. But sometimes, yeah, we can understand why a diehard fan of ours might get thrown out against the Knicks. 

Read Frye’s interviews with Shaq, Anthony Davis and Draymond Green.