Soon after winning the Olympic gold medal in men's basketball, Dwyane Wade — the golden son and high scorer on the U.S. Olympic "Redeem Team" — was supposed to be welcomed by one and all at Nikki Marina on A1A in Hollywood.
By 11 p.m. that Saturday, SoFla's beautiful people were out in droves at Nikki. Tall heels, short skirts, diamonds of all shapes and sizes. The theme of the party was Red, White, and Gold. Waitresses darted around the club, carrying bottles of champagne topped with Fourth of July-like sparklers. A woman wearing white lingerie and a man dressed as a tall red goat weaved on stilts across the dance floor. Music popped, asses dropped, and everyone raised a drink to D-Wade.
One problem: The guest of honor was nowhere in sight.
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By midnight, word spread that Wade was with some guests on a three-story yacht docked about 50 yards away.
Around 1 a.m., members of the media gathered by the water in anticipation of the grand entrance. Still no D-Wade. Heat forward Udonis Haslem stepped off the boat, smiled for photos, and walked into the club. Just before 2 a.m., the yacht powered down the Intracoastal, passed the waiting crowd, stopped, turned around, and arrived a few steps from where it took off. An entourage of men in designer white suits with gold buttons appeared on deck.
Then there he was, the man of the hour(s), wearing dark sunglasses and posing with a model's grin as the cameras clicked and the crowd cheered. Finally he made his way to the small red-carpet area. China was great. The people were great. Feels good to have a gold. Blah blah blah. Then he scampered into the dark anonymity of the VIP section, not to be seen again.
There was no boogyin' with the franchise boy that night. And the yacht he was partying on all evening? It was flying a Canadian flag.