- Dwyane Wade said the 2012-13 Miami Heat was a “special” team and felt like they couldn’t lose, particularly during their historic 27-game winning streak.
- Wade said that team may have featured LeBron James at his peak — though he argued James may still be there now.
- The dominance of that Heat team and the fun they had on the court changed public opinion of them after the “Big Three” joined up, according to Wade, a decision he is also proud of.
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The 2012-13 Miami Heat can boast a claim as one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
In their third year with the “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Heat went 66-16 in the regular season, including a 27-game win streak, the second-longest NBA history. They went 12-4 in the first three rounds of the playoffs, then won the championship in a thrilling, seven-game series with the San Antonio Spurs, notching their second straight title.
While speaking to Business Insider ahead of the release of his ESPN documentary, “Life Unexpected,” Wade said that Heat team knew they were doing something “special” and created memories they’ll never forget.
“I think going through that process, we knew that it was something special that was being done,” Wade said. “You could feel it.”
The 27-game win streak, in particular, featured some of the most dominant basketball the league has ever seen. The Heat did not lose from February 3 to March 27 before finally falling to the Chicago Bulls in Chicago. During that span, the Heat outscored teams by nearly 13 points per 100 possessions. Sixteen of the 27 wins were by double-digits.
“Winning 27 in a row, man, it felt like you can never lose, you know,” Wade said. “It was just automatic. Down 27 in a fourth quarter? That’s okay, we’ll come back. It was that mentality and it was so much fun.”
That season may have also been LeBron James’ finest (a lofty achievement). James took home his fourth MVP that year and dominated both sides of the ball. Bosh has since told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons that it was the best basketball he’s ever seen anyone play. Wade agreed that it may have been the best he’s seen James.
“Definitely ‘Bron was at his — I mean you can’t say that he’s not at his peak still, but you know, he was definitely at the best of LeBron James we have ever seen.”
Wade said that Heat team also found its groove off the court. He noted that that was the season they produced their own viral “Harlem Shake” video.
“Two years before, we was the team that was hated because of the decision we made,” Wade said, referring to the teaming up of James, Bosh, and Wade. “And then two years later we was loved because we have fun playing the game of basketball.”
Wade looks back at that decision to team up with equal pride. That Heat era seems like a flash in the pan — four years, four Finals appearances, two championships, and that was it. James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014. Wade and Bosh remained with the Heat, but Bosh’s career was cut short in 2016 with blood clots.
Wade, however, said that the impact of the three stars teaming up still resonates today, what many in the NBA world consider the “player empowerment” era.
“I’m proud to be a part of, you know, LeBron and Chris Bosh and myself, proud that we was a part of creating that change and shifting the power,” Wade said. “It’ll shift back at some point, but 10 years strong, the power has been shifted into the player’s hand. As a player and as an advocate for the players coming forward, after us, coming up, that’s what you want.
“We understand what the game has done for us and the platform the game give us, but the game is only as good as the players. And the fact that the players can have that power, it makes me feel good to know that we was, you know, in the beginning phases of that.”
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