The NBA is made up of 450 players, roughly. 15 players to a team, 30 NBA teams. This has been around for a while. Of course, there were times in NBA (National Basketball Association) history when you only had 8 teams, and when there was another league, the ABA (American Basketball Association). The two leagues merged on August 5, 1976, which changed the future of the NBA as we know it.
We’ve had a ton of players come through the NBA and leave their marks on the game. We’ve had dynasties, once-in-a-lifetime players, and tons more come through and put their marks on the game, making them remembered in the books as one of the best to ever step foot on a basketball court. Despite that, we never really will know who the best is, considering that it is all a bunch of opinionated answers and biased ones as well. We also have a ton of people like Skip Bayless who are considered a “troll,” in the basketball world, making lists out of bias. We also have a ton of people making it about career accomplishments when in reality, basketball is a team sport, so it is very hard to make a list just focusing on that.
This list is still being constructed and thoughtfully put together, but this list will focus on just playing the sport of basketball. Yes, obviously we will have to talk about career accomplishments, but it is mainly going to focus on how they played throughout their career and, really, if I needed to pick someone first overall to help my team get better, who I would pick.
With that being said, let the list begin!
15. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade was selected 5th overall in the star-studded 2003 draft class by the Miami Heat. Right away, he made a significant impact on the team. During his first season there, Wade helped the Heat get into the playoffs and beat the New Orleans Hornets in the first round, the same team that swept them a year prior. Ultimately, they lost in the Conference Finals to the Indiana Pacers, but the buzz around the city was that this Wade kid was very good. And it did not take long for him to show how good he was. Two years after being drafted to the Heat, Wade led the Heat to the finals, going up against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. Wade put on a show, averaging 34.7 points per game while shooting 47% from the field. Dwyane Wade was given Finals MVP for his heroic play during those finals run and delivered Miami a championship. He put his name on the map and would continue that throughout his career.
Dwyane Wade is considered the 3rd best shooting guard in NBA history, only being behind Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He is an exceptional player and one of the best defenders at his position as well. Fun fact, Dwyane Wade has the most blocked shots for any guard in NBA history, swatting 1,052 shots throughout his career. Alongside that, Dwyane Wade has won three championships, all on the Miami Heat. You can argue he was getting carried by LeBron, but LeBron wouldn’t be the LeBron today without Wade’s leadership.
With that being said, I do believe Dwyane Wade is the 15th best player in NBA history. Why? Well, he is one of the best leaders in the sport. As I said above, he led a young Miami Heat team to the finals in his third year in the league. He also helped players, like LeBron, become who they are today. He is a staple name for the Miami Heat team and all teams in the NBA. His nickname, “the flash,” is also sick, so that’s just bonus points.