SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday in a star-studded class alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich, Pau Gasol and others.
On Saturday, Wade became the first player drafted by the Heat to make the Hall of Fame. He is also the first ever Marquette Golden Eagle to be inducted.
Wade was greeted with chants of “Let’s go Heat!” before asking the crowd to pipe down because Popovich had taken up too much time.
Wade asked his loved ones to stand as he thanked them, including his wife, Gabrielle Union.
“Thank you for learning every ref’s name in the NBA, and for screaming at them so I didn’t have to,” Wade said during his speech. “Saved a lot of fine money.”
He concluded by inviting his father, Dwyane Wade Sr. onto the stage. “We’re in the Hall of Fame, Pop,” he said before giving him one final hug.
The two-day event was also headlined by the enshrinement of modern NBA icons Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Gregg Popovich and WNBA legend Becky Hammon.
In total, 11 players and coaches received the honor, as well as the 1976 Women’s Olympic Basketball Team.
Wade, a three-time champion with the Miami Heat, also made 13 All-Star appearances, was named All-NBA eight times, All-Defensive team three times, led the gold medal-winning Team USA in scoring at the 2008 Olympics and became the Heat’s all-time leader in points (21,556), assists (5,310), steals (1,492) and games played (948) during his 16-year career.
Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra had this to say about his former player:
“He’s a three-time champion, one of the greatest two guards of all time.”
His good friend and former teammate, LeBron James, praised him for his work off the court.
“I know you going in, into the Hall as a basketball player, but more importantly, bro, what you have done as a man, as a father, as a businessman, goes beyond the hall,” James said.
Many South Florida fans have often dubbed Wade as “Miami’s favorite son” and the Heat legend sure didn’t forget them after saying “Miami, 305, Wade County, we all going into the Hall of Fame together.”
Wade spoke with Local 10 News and shared what it meant for him to go into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Miami Heat.
“It means everything. I was drafted fifth overall to the Miami Heat, so I take a lot of pride in being the first guy drafted to go into the Hall. It’s a forever thing,” he said.
Be sure to watch Local 10 News at 7 p.m. Sunday for the Local 10 special, “Celebrating Legends” as we honor Wade and Miami Dolphins legend Zach Thomas.