Dwyane Wade is – and always will be – the face of the Miami Heat

It’s official. Flash is forever etched in the history books.

Dwyane Wade, the most decorated player in Miami Heat franchise history, enjoyed the fruits of his labor on Saturday night.

It’s hard to argue against the notion that Wade is the greatest player in Heat history.

That’s quite the franchise resume, but it gets longer.

Wade became the fifth Heat player to have his jersey retired, along with Alonzo Mourning (33), Tim Hardaway (10), Shaquille O’Neal (32) and Chris Bosh (1).

Those are some impressive names, specifically O’Neal. And although Shaq was key in leading Miami to its first-ever NBA championship in 2006, he only spent four seasons in South Beach.

Wade spent over 14 years in Miami, mixed in with brief stints in Cleveland and Chicago.

Speaking of Cleveland, their greatest superstar followed in Shaq’s footsteps and stopped off in Miami for four seasons.

It’s hard to imagine LeBron James playing for a franchise in his prime and not being regarded as that franchise’s best player.

And when you look at this accomplishments in Miami, things get tricky.

In just four seasons as a member of the Heat, LeBron won two NBA titles, two NBA Finals MVPs, two regular season MVPs, was named First-Team All-NBA four times, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team three times, and helped lead the Heat to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

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Miami-LeBron has an argument for greatest player of all-time. That’s the LeBron that you put up against Michael Jordan.

But…Miami-LeBron ain’t Flash.

Although James brought titles to South Beach, his time in Miami was just a pit stop. He spent a few years with his pal in Wade and went back home to Cleveland, where he rightfully belonged.

Actually, James landing Miami is actually a notch on Wade’s belt. Flash was able to recruit the best player in the game away from his hometown team and convince him to win titles for another franchise.

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Someone add “recruiter extraordinaire” to Wade’s list of accomplishments.

On Saturday night, Flash spoke to the crowd at American Airlines Arena, reflecting on his journey, and quoting another of the game’s greats.

And he did it in style.

Congratulations to Wade, the forever face of the Miami Heat.