Let's be honest. The brightest star in the black hole of mediocrity that is the South Florida sports landscape is Dwyane Wade. As we all know, he enters free agency after this season. While we're about 75 percent sure he'll stay with the Heat, the media is going to have a lot of fun concocting wet dreams of where he'll end up, and Riptide isn't going to stand by and let them have all the fun. Welcome to our Dwyane Wade watch.
Today, ESPN senior columnist Gene Wojciechowski presents a "Blueprint for an NBA dynasty," which involves D-Wade joining LeBron James and Chris Bosh with -- dear God -- the New York Knicks.
As ridiculous as it sounds, there exists a scenario in which these three guys could play on the same team and win championships happily ever after starting next season. For once, someone could say, "It's not about the money," and actually mean it.
See, of the three superstars in next year's group of free agents, only Wade has a championship ring. Wojciechowski theorizes the others could put aside salary in pursuit of a fistful of bling, but he almost immediately nullifies the "it's not about the money" claim.
But if James, Wade and Bosh truly want to make history, they could do the unthinkable and split the Knicks' $33 million three ways. It would cost them salary money, but can you imagine how much they'd make on the back end if they started reeling in NBA titles? In New York?
Whatever they'd lose on their paycheck stubs, they'd make up in endorsements.
Yeah, part of the "it's not all about the money" claim in sports means remaining loyal to a team and its city, not your chances of championships and endorsement deals. Besides, Wade has a chance to be the new Dan Marino for the next generation of Miamians -- and even though he never got a Super Bowl ring it's not exactly like he's hurting for endorsement deals (we tried to reach Marino for comment, but he was too busy driving around in his Maroone Kia chowing down Nutrisystem and popping Viagra).
Besides, New York can go slag itself.
It's not like they're hurting for sports glory. The Jets somehow made it to the championship round, the Giants have the other Manning, and they have the friggin' Yankees.
Isn't one dynasty enough for a town? I mean they've already got something of a dream duo in Jeter and A-Rod (who of course loves NYC so much he spends every second he doesn't have to be there back home in Miami schtupping random blondes).
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Miami needs Dwyane Wade, damn it, and we'll never forgive him if he leaves us for the Knicks. Especially if he ensures that the Heat will never have a chance at another championship for a generation by joining a dream team.
The New York Times' basketball blog has another Dwyane Wade-LeBron James combo theory, one we like a bit more because it involves the two in black and red. However, they don't really seem to believe it'll happen.
But another question is whether James would be interested in teaming up with Wade at all. It's not that they wouldn't make a terrific frontcourt-backcourt tandem, because they would. But if James teams up with another superstar and wins a title, it would always be THEIR title. It wouldn't be HIS title. Kobe Bryant experienced this with Shaquille O'Neal, and didn't seem to be truly satisfied until he led a team that was his own to a championship last year. Would James want the same?
Of course it's silly for any player to think he can win THEIR OWN title. Dwyane Wade's current situation with The Heat perfectly illustrates that it takes more than one lone superstar to carry a team ...and the real key to figuring out where he'll be next season is watching the steps Pat Riley and the front office take to correct it.