No doubting ability
Asked about doubting, this is what he says: Of course I have doubt. Then he clarifies: But it isnt about doubting your ability. Never, ever. Never, evvvvvvvver. It is only doubting the injury. It is never, ever doubting the ability.
So he uses belief and these holy gifts to conquer, but the other day he had to go back to the locker room to have his kneecap put back in place with tightened tape before coming out to finish the Chicago Bulls season. And there was a defiance in him after that, wondering aloud if one day doubters would correctly appreciate his game. There was ego in that because you will always find ego and greatness residing in the same neighborhood, but the dont-you-dare-doubt-me was unusual given that it was obvious to any eye that Wade wasnt himself in the Bulls series, unable to get to the free-throw line with his usual breakneck style. Part of that was the way the Bulls always defend him; part of that was the knee limiting him in a way that makes you wonder as the games, opponent and climb get harder.
Too much of sports coverage is absolutely extreme and extremely absolute. Less than a year ago, LeBron James was allegedly a fragile choker; now Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen told him that James would have kicked Michael Jordans butt. Extremists cant be found in the middle. So it cant be that Wade is a still-great player who is also injured/diminished without the person wondering about his game and health being dismissed as something between a doubter and a hater. Regardless, Wade has tilted all the math in his favor because, in his words, I didnt ever want to be in that position again, where you always, always have to be 100 percent and even that might not be enough.
He isnt 100 percent.
He doesnt have to be.
And that feels a lot like winning before you have even won.