Dwyane Wade will no longer play in a Miami Heat uniform, but he has left an indelible mark on the franchise.
A 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion, he ranks first in Heat history in games played (855), minutes played (30,560), field goals (7,325), points (20,221), free throws (5,185), assists (4,944) and steals (1,414), and quite remarkably, No. 2 in blocks (759) behind only Alonzo Mourning.
Numbers aside, the 6-4 shooting guard from Marquette, taken fifth overall in the 2003 Draft, leaves behind so many more lasting images and moments.
Here’s a collection of performances that will not soon be forgotten:
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April 18, 2004
Wade’s first career playoff game served notice he was no ordinary rookie. With 11 seconds to play and the score tied at 79, coach Stan Van Gundy put the ball in his hands, and he delivered. Wade crossed over Baron Davis and shot a teardrop through the hoop — an image we will never forget. The Heat won 81-79 and went on to win the series against the New Orleans Hornets in seven games.
Dec. 30, 2004
Wade posted four triple-doubles in his career, but his first one at the Palace of Auburn Hills was special. He finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and shot 12 of 18 from the field to beat the Detroit Pistons for the first time in his career. It marked the the Heat’s 13th consecutive victory. “He’s the best second-year pupil that I’ve had,” said Shaquille O’Neal, who had played with Penny Hardaway and Kobe Bryant to that point. “I’ve raised two great ones in my NBA lifetime, and this guy is the best in his second year.” The Pistons got their revenge in the playoffs, beating the Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
2006 NBA Finals
Down 2-0 in the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks and desperately needing a win at home, Wade started the comeback in the series with a 42-point, 13-rebound performance for the ages in Game 3. He finished 14 of 26 from the field. Then, in Game 5, Wade followed with 43 points in a thrilling 101-100 overtime victory. Wade won the game by working his way past three defenders and getting to the foul line for the winning free throws with 1.9 seconds to go. The Heat won its first title two days later when Wade went for 36 points in a 95-92 Game 6 win. He won Finals MVP honors.
March 4, 2009
A month before he posted the highest-scoring game of his career, Wade took on former Heat teammate Shaquille O’Neal and the Phoenix Suns and posted a career-high 16 assists on a night in which he also scored 35 points. The Heat beat the Suns in a thrilling 135-129 shootout.
March 9, 2009
How did Wade end a double-overtime thriller against the Chicago Bulls? By stealing the ball from John Salmons, dribbling up court and hitting a pull-up three-pointer at the buzzer. It was one of the most dazzling plays of his career. Wade celebrated the 130-127 victory by standing up on the scorer’s table and celebrating with fans. Wade had 48 points, six rebounds and 12 assists in the win.
April 12, 2009
Before LeBron James and Chris Bosh came to town, Wade won the league’s scoring title by averaging 30.2 points per game during the 2008-09 season. He capped it with a career-high 55-point performance in a 122-105 win over the New York Knicks on Easter Sunday. Wade heard chants of MVP throughout his performance and buried a career-high six three-pointers in the win. He finished one point shy of matching Glen Rice’s franchise record for scoring in a game. Wade had three 50-point games that season — the only 50-point games of his career — and finished third in the overall MVP voting to James and Kobe Bryant.
Feb. 14, 2010
The season after he was snubbed for the league MVP award, Wade won his first and only All-Star Game MVP award in front of 108,713 fans at Cowboys Stadium. He shot 75 percent from the field, scored 28 points and had 11 assists, six rebounds and five steals.
April 25, 2010
Before the Big 3 got together, Wade was trying to take on the world by himself. Down 3-0 in the first-round series against the Boston Celtics, the last thing the Heat wanted was to get swept out of the playoffs. Wade salvaged a game in the series with one of his best playoff performances ever: 46 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. The 46 points are a playoff career high.
July 10, 2010
It was a party to celebrate the beginning of the Big 3. While the rest of the NBA was bitter, Wade, James and Bosh introduced themselves to Heat Nation with a bash at AmericanAirlines Arena. James and Bosh signed matching six-year, $110.1 million contracts and Wade signed for $107.5 million to make sure the numbers worked for the Heat. Without his relationship with James, the Big 3 probably never come together. Miami wins two NBA titles and makes four consecutive trips to the Finals. “Three is magical, and now it represents more than just my number,” Wade said the day Heat Nation partied like it never had before. “It represents the three of us making sacrifices, as well.”
December 6, 2010
As the Big 3 embarked on a four-year journey that produced four NBA Finals appearances and two titles, there were early concerns on how the three stars would mesh on the court. Perhaps the first glimpse of greatness came in a regular-season game against the Bucks, where Dwyane Wade’s no-look alley-oop to LeBron James was a harbinger of things to come.
April 29, 2016
Call it the Purple Shirt Guy game. With the Heat up against the ropes and needing a win in Game 6 of its first-round series, Wade rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter and silenced a rowdy Charlotte Hornets fan with an array of big baskets. He scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and made his first two three-pointers of the calendar year to outduel Kemba Walker, who poured in 37 points. It was vintage Wade at age 34.