Very few players have matched the success of Miami superstar Dwyane Wade. The 13x All-Star and 3x NBA Champion recently called it a career after 16 legendary seasons -- with 14 of them being spent with the Heat.
And although the franchise has fallen on tough times now, there was a time when the team was a haven for the league's biggest stars. In case you're wondering, there wasn't a whole lot of "selling" when it came to recruiting stars to the Heat. The city just kind of sold itself.
“I’ve never had to pitch a guy on Miami. I didn’t have to pitch Shaq, he came on his own," said Dwyane Wade. "I didn’t have to pitch LeBron and Chris, it was more so about what we could do together, not necessarily where it was going to be at. If somebody reaches out to me, and asks me what I think, then I give them my spiel. But I’ve never had to pitch a guy on Miami. I think it’s just social media talk. It’s something for someone to write. It’s funny to me.”
Shaq was traded to the Heat from L.A. back in 2004. Although his rivalry with Kobe played a big role at the time, he chose the Heat and was invested in the franchise since the moment he arrived. He and Wade ended up winning a Championship together in 2006.
As for James, he and Chris Bosh went to Miami together to form a powerful superteam, the likes of which garnered a level of hate and spite from the community the league hasn't known since. Still, they chose to come to Miami of all places and earned two NBA Championships as a result.
In hindsight, it's tough to say coming to Miami wasn't a smart decision for guys like Shaq and LeBron. They chose Miami, and it paid off.