Dwyane Wade had a lot to prove this season. That’s a funny thing to say about a guy who just won his third NBA championship and is in the middle of a budding dynasty in Miami, but the doubters were coming from all angles to season. Is he no longer physically able to be a superstar player that can carry a team with or without LeBron James? How is he handling no longer being “the man” in the city that was once unquestionably his? What the hell was he thinking leaving Jordan Brand?
Ok, so those first two questions were valid and somewhat justified considering how Wade played this season, which included some injuries and the occasional alpha dog battle with LeBron. But I think we can safely say that Wade made the right call in forging his own path with Li-Ning.
Wade is in that spot where he’s too big of a star to be saddled with the responsibility of wearing an Air Jordan (note: Russell Westbrook might hit that point someday too) while rocking a shoe with his name on it and his popularity demands that he be in the same spot as a LeBron, Kobe, Rose and Durant. On a regular basis during our NBA Kicks recaps, sneakerheads (well, the open-minded ones at least) were talking about that wild colorways of the Way of Wade and subsequent Encores that Wade was rocking. Li-Ning was bold, fresh, different and fun.
Now if they can just start selling the darn things, we can finally stop just talking about it and actually rocking them. Any day now, Li-Ning. Just saying…