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Dwyane Wade Says Shaquille O'Neal Gave Him The Confidence That He Could Be One Of The Greats: "When Shaq Says, 'Hey, You One Of The Best Two Guards In The Game, You Gonna Be One Of The Greats', I Don't Need No More Juice Than That."

Dwyane Wade Says Shaquille O'Neal Gave Him The Confidence That He Could Be One Of The Greats: "When Shaq Says, 'Hey, You One Of The Best Two Guards In The Game, You Gonna Be One Of The Greats', I Don't Need No More Juice Than That."

Dwyane Wade is nowadays regarded as one of the best shooting guards ever, but not many would have seen that coming for someone who wasn't a highly sought after prospect coming out of high school. Wade would go on to make a name for himself at Marquette, after which the Heat selected him with the 5th pick of the iconic 2003 NBA Draft.

He immediately established himself as one of the best young guards in the league, as he was voted into the All-Rookie First Team and he led the Heat to the Conference Semifinals in 2004 as well. To take that next step, however, the Heat needed an injection of star power, and when Shaquille O'Neal requested a trade from the Lakers, Miami pounced on the opportunity.

Shaq not only helped the team finally win a championship in 2006, but he also played a big role in helping Wade realize just how good he can be. During his appearance on the "Point Forward" podcast, he spoke about the impact of O'Neal's arrival on him.

(starts at 15:20 mark):

"When Shaq came and (he) really inserted that level of confidence in me that I could be one of the greats. I needed somebody that was a great to be able to show me what it's like to be great. I'll give him so much credit for what I did on the court at a young age in my second year in the league, but also what I started doing off the court. A lot of it came from being around a guy that was doing it and so I just had to follow suit but also just interpret it my own way and put my own spin to it. But when Shaq says, 'Hey, you one of the best two guards in the game, you gonna be one of the greats', I don't need no more juice than that."

O'Neal saw first-hand what the youngster was capable of and it was Wade who was their best player in that 2006 title run, as he capped it all off by winning Finals MVP. He wouldn't have gotten to that point without Shaq's guidance, however, and it is great to see Wade give his former teammate some credit.

That triumph in 2006 was just one in the long list of great moments for Wade during his NBA career, which led to him making the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. During this episode, he also spoke about just how much that meant to him, as he called it, one of the most humbling individual moments of his career.