For months now, Moore has been pouring glass after glass of punch for the Cult of Wade 2.0 (and by extension, the Cult of True Heat-hood), and I’ve thought about taking a sip.Â I’m actually pretty parched.Â But there was a slight conflict of interests — I kind of like the Mavs, and Dwyane Wade (who may or may not have had help from a crew of anthropomorphic zebras) kind of peed all over them on his quest for basketball domination in the summer of 2006.
No more.Â I’m ready to fully embrace the new Wade — and I’m talking about the Wade beyond 2.0.
For me, the distinction between versions doesn’t have to rely on significant evolutions in Wade’s game.Â Wade 1.0 defeated the Mavericks in the Finals, Wade 2.0 brought my opinions of him back into the world of general awe and indifference, and this new, yet to be truly defined edition has made me a legitimate fan.Â That’s a pretty big swing in essentially two seasons.
His numbers are gaudy and impossible to ignore, but my growing infatuation with Wade comes mostly from the impossibly effortless way that he is wholly and completely full of effort.Â Every drive the the basket looks like the equivalent of a morning jog for a man of truly transcendent talent, but what could easily be a double-clutch layup or a floater elevates and elevates into a dunk that signals relentlessness more than overwhelming athleticism.Â When LeBron goes up to dunk on you, he’s a force of nature.Â But we have ways to predict weather patterns, seismographs that measure tremors before an earthquake, and receding tides that warn of the hurricane to come.Â When Wade goes up for a dunk on you, he finishes through Space Jam-esque disregard for the laws of space and time and an iron will.Â So much of what he does on the court is possible because of that will alone, and it’s the catalyst that turns effort and talent into something else entirely.
One of the most beautiful things about what Wade has become is that he’s infinitely more ‘connected’ to the real world than LeBron (to whom he is inextricably linked).Â LeBron is a unique specimen in almost any regard; he combines a one-in-a-bajillion physical profile with a ridiculous understanding of passing angles and an unparalleled ability to attack the basket.Â To me, that means that you’ll never really see a “poor man’s LeBron.”Â You might hear of a playmaking small forward and instinctively make the comparison, but James is so unique and so incredible that I seriously doubt he can ever be replicated, even for the sake of poor people.Â Wade, on the other hand, is a 6’4” shooting guard.Â He has limited range (though he didn’t show it last night, and he’s certainly on the rise), and is primarily a slasher.Â Who shoots midrange jumpers.Â And crazy, acrobatic layups.Â And makes nutty passes.Â Whatever.Â The point is, though Wade may be just as undefinable, his success appears to be much more attainable.
Of course it’s not, and that’s what makes Wade so special.Â Players will be declared disciples of the Wadian school and fooled into thinking that this type of play is somehow more mortal, but they’re wrong.Â Dwyane Wade has achieved demi-god status, and there’s no going back.