Draft Day 2003. LeBron ... Darko ... Carmelo ... Chris Bosh
Before the night started, everybody pretty much knew that's how the first four picks would go. Pick No. 5 was a different story though. Most experts had Dwyane Wade no higher than No. 7. They had T.J. Ford, Kirk Hinrich or even Maciej Lampe going at five. But the Heat went with Wade, the junior from Marquette who had carried his team to the Final Four.
Looking back less than three years later, it was obviously the steal of the draft. You could even make the argument that Wade should have been picked No. 1. Yes, you read that right.
If the 17-4 run to end the regular season and the two game-winning shots in the playoffs of his rookie year didn't convince you, then maybe the 24, five and seven last year did it. No? How about the trip to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last June, losing to the Pistons by just six with both Shaq and Wade banged up? If that still didn't do it for you, just keep watching.
Dwyane Wade is fearless. He takes the ball to the hoop like he's Jack Bauer going after a terrorist. Stay out of his way. Get your camera ready. Watch it again and again the next day.
Dwyane Wade is clutch. He hits game-winning shots like you or I get dressed in the morning. If you're an opponent, you don't want the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
Dwyane Wade is explosive. He splits double-teams like blackjack players split aces. He can score 17 straight points against the best team in the league. He can block Amare's shot and then hit from 60-feet.
The sky is the limit for Dwyane Wade and there doesn't look to be anything in his way of getting there. Let LeBron and Carmelo get the hype. His eye is out for the ring.
Dwyane Wade is the HANNspree Innovative Player of the Month for March.