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Five Plays That Defined Dwyane Wade's Legendary Miami Heat Career
Photo by George Martinez

Five Plays That Defined Dwyane Wade's Legendary Miami Heat Career

After Dwayne Wade scored 30 points in his final home game for the Miami Heat during last night's victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, it's just about time to say goodbye.

The music on Wade's #OneLastDance retirement tour ends tonight when the Heat plays its season finale against the Brooklyn Nets at 8 p.m. That means fans have 48 minutes left to squeeze Wade highlights from the memory bank.

While everyone looks for new Wade memories tonight, here are a few of New Times' favorites since he joined the team in 2003.

1. This. Is. His. House. The year is 2009. The game is tied in double overtime against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have the basketball with under ten seconds remaining.

Then Dwyane Wade happened. So much Dwyane Wade.

Wade somehow stole the ball, collected himself, pounded the ball against the hardwood a few times, then pulled up for the most amazing three-pointer on the run, defying the law of physics as he faded away.

Bucket. The most beautiful splashing net you've ever seen. Wade ran over to the crowd, jumped on the scorer's table, and let it be known that American Airlines Arena is where you can forward his mail.

His house. Forever.

2. "Welcome to your Kodak moment, Anderson Varejao!" Wade killed a man in the year of the Lord 2009. A mere few months before LeBron James would team up with Wade in Miami, one of James' Cleveland Cavaliers teammates perished via drone strike.

Wade from the rooftop. Ba-GOD! This was a play you couldn't fully appreciate until it was slowed down, frame by frame, so you could take in the art that was Wade hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del on Anderson Varejao.

The greatest part of this play may be the most underrated — Wade actually got Reggie Miller to drop a memorable play call in the viewer's laps.

3. Dwyane Wade does a magic trick. Nope. Makes no sense what happens in this video. Haters will say it's Photoshopped, but it's real.

The angle of the shot during this matchup against the Pistons seems impossible, but we have video evidence of it. Wade was already a legend at this point in his career, but we weren't anywhere near ready for what was in store.

4. Game 3 2006 NBA Finals. With his team down 2-0 in the 2006 Finals against the Dallas Mavericks and the Mavs up 12 with under nine minutes to play in Game 3, Wade took over hard to the tune of scoring 12 of his 43 points in the final minutes of the game en route to a comeback, series-saving 98-96 win.

To avoid a 3-0 hole, Wade took charge, got the Heat back in the series, and the rest was history — Miami won its first championship. This series solidified Wade as more than an All-Star player. In this series, Wade became a once-in-a-generation player who was clearly on his way to becoming one of the best to ever put on a jersey.

5. Rookie Dwyane Wade does it in the playoffs. This is when you knew. Lots of players dominate in the regular season. Lots of guys can look like Dwyane Wade for a couple of months in the winter. Not many carry that over into the playoffs and hit game-winners. Fewer guys do it as a rookie.

The Heat didn't get far in the 2004 NBA Playoffs, but Wade's game-decider against the Hornets might as well be on a banner in the rafters. It's when we knew — all of us — that Miami Heat basketball was about to change big time.

And it did. Forever. Thank you, Dwyane Wade. 

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