Stan Van Gundy took some time to reminisce on Tuesday to reminisce on Chicago Bulls’ guard Dwyane Wade’s career and legacy.
After shootaround on Tuesday, Detroit Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy took some time to reminisce on the Hall of Fame career and legacy of Dwyane Wade. Now a member of the Chicago Bulls, Wade makes his return to the Palace of Auburn Hills Tuesday night.
Van Gundy was Wade’s first NBA head coach when he was drafted in 2003 by the Miami Heat and coached him for his first two seasons and portions of his third before resigning in December of 2006.
As a result of their history together, Van Gundy is one of the best qualified guys in the NBA to offer commentary on the impact Wade has had over the course of his 13-year career.
Van Gundy spoke on the topic of Wade playing for a different team after playing the first 12 years of his career in Miami:
“It’ll be different. It’ll be weird to see him in a different uniform because I was there when he started in Miami and then even coaching against him in two different places. There’s very few people that go through with just one team anymore, and so it certainly looked like he would be one of those guys but it didn’t end up that way.”
Stan Van Gundy also touched on Wade’s remarkable efficiency. In spite of never developing a reliable three-point shot, Wade has a career true-shooting percentage of 56.1 and over the course of his career has shot 48.7 percent from the floor.
“You had to know coming in how good and how smart a basketball player the guy was. I remember getting ready for the draft in 2003, and people questioned his shooting, but he shot around 50 percent in college. He’s always been a highly efficient guy because he knows himself, he knows his game, he knows what shots he wants to get, he can get to those spots, so all that’s happened is he’s expanded what he’s been able to do. Even as a rookie he shot close to 50 percent which rookies never do because he got the shots that he could make. So as he expanded what he could do it opened up his game even more. On top of his tremendous physical abilities, the guy is just an extremely smart basketball player. He just really knows what’s going on. I remember his first summer league, and we go from there to what we know is a hall of fame career, the championships.”
One of the things Wade will be forever remembered for is his three championships. The first one came in 2006, and that’s a title that will be remembered by Pistons fans. The Heat beat the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals in six games behind the strength of Wade’s 26.7 points per game and preposterous 61.7 percent shooting. Wade reached a new stratosphere in the finals against the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 34.7 points per game.
Van Gundy shared his thoughts on Wade the champion, Wade the Hall of Famer, and Wade being among the most unique players of his generation.
“He’s done it all. He’s carried a team to the championship in 2006 when he put a whole team on his back and carried them to the championship. Then he’s been willing to subordinate himself a little bit. To me he’s one of the really unique players of his time and there aren’t really many players better than him or ever have been better than him.”
With Wade’s career in its twilight and the Palace of Auburn Hills in its final season, this may be the last time he appears at the Palace, and one of the final few times he faces the Detroit Pistons.