LeBron James Says Dwyane Wade Re-Invented Himself

The defending NBA champion Miami Heat have undergone tremendous changes—LeBron James is now playing closer to the basket where he is completely unstoppable; Erik Spoelstra tweaked the offense after Miami lost the 2011 NBA Finals to take better advantage of the skillset on the roster. But the biggest transformation of all, perhaps, has come from Dwyane Wade. The Robin to LeBron’s Batman has accepted the no. 2 role, and is now a more efficient player when healthy. James appreciates the way Wade has adapted his game. Per USA Today: “Has Wade, 31, lost a step? Is his game on the decline? Is he no longer the player he used to be? Did age finally win? ‘When you’re doing it front of the public eye and people are taking shots at you and you’re not feeling well, it frustrates you,’ he said. ‘If I’m not crying about, if I’m not out there saying ‘Woe is me,’ then I don’t feel it needs to be discussed.’ His good friend and teammate LeBron James nods in agreement. He hears the comments and sees Wade’s frustration. ‘It was pissing him off more than anything while he was getting jabbed by everybody saying he’s not the same,’ James said. […] Wade has answered the questions about his health by responding with impressive numbers. Since January, he has averaged 22 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals and shot 52.7% from the field. While James put together his amazing run of 30-point games and 60% shooting during the streak, Wade had an underappreciated 13-game stretch: 25.2 points, six assists 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game and 58.7% from the field. ‘Whenever you have setback, because that’s what I had, it’s going to take time to get back to where you were and then you want to be better than what you were,’ Wade said. […] ‘I don’t have an ego in terms of what people say about me now or my role on this team because I know I’m a hell of a player,’ Wade said. ‘I know I can be a top five player and lead the league in scoring if I didn’t decide to take a lesser role. That doesn’t’ take away from what I’ve done in this game and what I’ll continue to do in this game and what I can still do.’ […] ‘He re-invented himself,’ James said. Wade is shooting a career-best 52.1% from the field as his three-point attempts continue to decrease. ‘I’m not shooting 50% because I’m launching shots,’ he said. ‘I understand which shots are my shots and I’m not shooting shots that aren’t mine.'”