Wade, an NBA Finals MVP at age 24, “was better than Kobe [Bryant] at that time,” says Riley.
Dirk Nowitzki adds that D-Wade—who averaged 34.7 points in the series—was “unguardable” when he led Miami past his Dallas Mavericks.
Per Bleacher Report:
For about a three-year span Wade was, in Riley’s view, “the best player in the world.”
“Dwyane was better than Kobe at that time,” Riley says. “He had a better year by having the impact on winning—in the Finals, in the biggest moments, on the biggest stage. And you get that moniker.”
For Wade, the moment was career-defining, even if that career was just three years old.
“That first championship I got against him is something that, if I never got to the Big Three era, was something that set me up for the rest of my life,” Wade says.