June 5, 2006
For those who are shocked and stunned by the acrobatic performances of Dwyane Wade during the postseason, just go down Memory Lane. Reflect back to the days at Marquette University.
I remember Rick Pitino telling me that Wade was going to be a special pro. Pitino said Wade would be a superstar on the next level, and I believed in Rick's comments given his experience as an NBA coach.
At Marquette, Wade learned from a coach who was tireless, energetic and motivated, Tom Crean. If you ever watched a workout at Marquette, you would understand why Wade is as good as he is. It is not only his skills, versatility and talent, but his basketball IQ as well. He is so cerebral, a coach's dream and it all started with the work ethic developed while playing for Crean.
The Marquette coach demands the best out of his people and the most out of himself. Crean got Wade to perform at such a high level, including a trip to the Final Four.
It is a treat to see a talent like Wade play. He is not only a star on the court, but super off of it as well.
David Stern should be doing back flips over the NBA's young star, Mr. Wade. Think about Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, a healthy Amare Stoudemire in Phoenix, and yes, King James in Cleveland. The league has a lot of young talent and it leads to great excitement.
It also helps Wade playing with the premier post player around, the one and only Shaq. That opens up driving angles for the former Marquette star, taking him to another level. He also gets free for special moments.
I remember saying Detroit made a mistake in 2003 when it picked Darko Milicic. I felt then and still believe that Carmelo Anthony would be the better pro. Imagine what the Pistons are thinking about Wade since he was picked fifth in that draft, only three choices behind Milicic.
Wade is Mr. Excitement during this NBA playoff run. His future is so bright, and the hard work he put in to get to this point is noteworthy. It is paying off big-time, baby!
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.