Dwyane Wade: “I’m not that athletic as I was in 2006″
Generally speaking, it’s tough for athletes, especially ones of Dwyane Wade’s caliber to come to terms with the fact that they have lost a step. But in his case, it seems as if Wade, not only knows that he’s lost a little something, but he’s accepted it and understands that he can still be a great player.
“I was 24 — totally different,” said Wade, 30. “I’m not that athletic as I was in 2006. But I still have something in me. I still have some left in me. I wish it was possible to stay at that same athleticism as I was at 24, but that’s not possible.”
This is coming in the wake of heavy criticism aimed directly in Wade’s general direction after a less-than-impressive post-season performance thus far.
In 19 games this post-season, Wade is averaged a modest 22.7 points per game and has had has been blasted in the press for fading away in 4th quarters, usually a knock reserved for his counter-part, LeBron James. Wade has also been called out for playing little-to-no defense for long stretches throughout the playoffs.
“I want to score more,” said Wade, who made fewer than half his shots in six straight games and was held to 20 or fewer points in five of them. “I don’t deal with the pressure of [scoring]. That’s when you start thinking too much, too many questions start coming up in your mind, you start to overanalyze things. I want to give my team more to give us an opportunity to win the series. I’ll be more aggressive — more than I have of late. So that will be my change.”
Wade can play a smaller role in the Heat’s offense because he has the help of reigning MVP, LeBron James and all-star, Chris Bosh. Perhaps Wade is learning to accept his slight decline. This would be a good thing for Wade and the Heat.
It’s no secret that D-Wade isn’t the explosive player he was during Miami’s championship run back in 2006, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a great player who can still be the side-kick on a championship team. He just has to let the game come to him.