“Should Go Down as One of the Greatest Performances In the History of the NBA”: Former Coach of Dwayne Wade on His Finals MVP Performance With Shaquille O’Neal vs Mavericks

Published 01/12/2022, 11:30 AM EST


Despite attaining widespread fame and regard, Miami Heat legend Dwayne Wade is one of the most underrated players ever. He has played with and against the best players in the game’s rich history, and has yet left behind an unforgettable legacy. One of his most iconic performances, came in the 2006 NBA Finals, when he led Miami to their first title.

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A critically acclaimed guard, Dwayne Wade is one of the best guards till date. Across the course of his career, he averaged 22 points. In addition, he was also a 13-time All-star and a 3-time NBA champion. He played with superstars of the game, including LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal. But according to legendary coach Tom Crean, his 2006 Finals outing was one of the best ever.

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Tom Crean lauds Dwayne Wade’s 2006 NBA Finals performance

Back in 2006, the Heat had a stacked roster. With the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Wade in their armory, they were sure shot contenders for the title. On the other hand, the Dallas Mavericks were favored over the men in red in black back then. In an iconic summit clash, Miami overcame a 0-2 deficit to claim their elusive crown. And Wade, who single-handedly tore apart Dallas, was awarded the Finals MVP award.

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What made the 2006 Finals even more special, was the fact that it was two first-timers on the podium. After being defeated in the opening pair of fixtures, Pat Riley’s men rallied towards resurgence. Meanwhile, Wade averaged close to 35 points in the Finals, and teamed up with Shaq to win the crown. And according to Georgia Bulldogs coach Tom Crean, the performance was historic.

Years ago, Crean was the man who scouted Dwayne at Marquette. Having seen the now 39-year-old put in classy performances night after night, very few things would’ve surprised him. But even for the 55-year-old Wade’s outing against Dallas was memorable. “There’s no question it should go down as one of the greatest performances in the history of the NBA,” Crean quoted“It has aged incredibly well. That series was going nowhere fast. He had to be a rock for his team, and he was able to do just that.”

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Already loaded with talent, the addition of someone like Shaquille O’Neal only made the Heat more devastating. Nonetheless, Dwayne Wade will be remembered by Miami buffs for years to come. Even among other iconic players, he has staked his claim as one of the franchise’s best ever players!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

559 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, soccer and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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