Dwyane Wade Admits LeBron James Leaving Miami Heat Had Little Championship Impact: “I Was Outside of My Prime About 2014. That Would Have Made It Really Hard for Us to Win”

Published 12/24/2021, 7:30 PM EST
CHICAGO, USA – APRIL 12: Dwyane Wade (3) of Chicago Bulls is seen during the NBA game between Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets at United Center in Chicago, United States on April 12, 2017. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


The decline of the Miami Heat was a huge deal back in 2014. After winning two championships back to back before, they had started to struggle to keep up. In fact, fans attributed the biggest reason for them to lose the NBA Finals that season to the San Antonio Spurs was because of the decline of Dwyane Wade. And believe it or not, even the Heat legend thinks that reason is accurate.

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So, even if LeBron James had stayed back and not moved back to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers, acquiring a championship would still not have been a cakewalk.

Was Dwyane Wade really at his lowest in 2014?

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14 March 2012: Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) talks to Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the Chicago Bulls 106-102 victory over the Miami Heat at the United Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA. (Photo by Mark Halmas/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In the year 2014, Wade was 32 years old and had trouble with his knees. This was the inevitability of old age, but everyone misunderstood it as his downfall. After eleven years into the NBA, he was obviously not the same player he was. Like him, other players had also aged, and that’s why the Heat struggled during their playoff run and eventually lost to the Spurs in the NBA Finals in five games.

While most people believe that LeBron staying would have made a difference and they could have won more NBA championships, Wade hardly thinks so. During an episode of ‘Renaissance Man’ with Jalen Rose, Wade was asked the same, and he said, “I don’t know. That Golden State [Warriors] team was right on our heels. I really don’t know. I wasn’t in my prime anymore. Was outside of my prime about 2014.

“So, that would have made it hard for us to really win if I was still going to be a big part of it. Chris Bosh not knowing what he was going to be dealing with later, he was in his prime, and LeBron was in his, but I wasn’t in mine anymore. And it would have made it tough to keep going, so I would have really had to find health in a big way very quickly to keep competing at that level and because my body was going through so much,” he concluded.

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After that, the Miami Heat legend wasn’t the same

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 1: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat controls the ball against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on April 1, 2019. (Staff Photo By Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) (Photo by Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

His series of injuries played a major role in his career and eventually had to retire in 2019. But the impact of what he did continued and the Heat have always been considered one of the best in the Eastern Conference.

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And despite what everyone might say about his decline, Wade will always be a hero in the eyes of his fans. His loyalty and love for the organization is something that he will always be most respected for.

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Yashima Bhatia

1803 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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