How the Wades won the NBA trade deadline Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are going home to Miami — perhaps for good
As the dust settles from one of the wildest NBA trade deadlines in recent history, the appropriate questions are: Who won? And who lost? Maybe it’s the Detroit Pistons, who are 5-0 since Blake Griffin’s arrival. Perhaps it’s Magic Johnson, who cleared cap space for two max players. Or maybe it’s a guy who didn’t move at all: As Drake says, Like I’m Lou Will, I just got the new deal. Lou Williams did in fact just sign a three-year, $24 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers. Lou always wins.
Yet, the real winner(s) of the NBA trade deadline are power couple Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. They’re going home.
Union wins for many reasons, not the least of which is that she is a survivor. Union is known for her patented grin-and-dimples combo, but her real life has been anything but all smiles. Rather than keep her pain bottled inside, Union speaks regularly about sexual assault, racism and gender equality. She is also shooting both a two-hour film finale of BET’s Being Mary Jane and an NBC pilot for a spinoff of the Bad Boys movie franchise. And Union’s 2017 memoir, We’re Going To Need More Wine, is a New York Times best-seller.
Not for nothing, too, Union moved from Miami to Chicago to Cleveland with her husband in a short span of time. So when the news broke on Feb. 8 that the family would be moving back to Miami (where they were married in 2014), there was an unbridled sense of joy and relief that radiated from Union’s tweet (she has close to 4 million followers).
305 HOME!!!! Let's goooooooo HEAT!!!! Can't. Wait.
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 8, 2018
Which brings us to her husband, Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. It’s unclear how much longer the 36-year-old, whom Union mercilessly teases about his age, will play professional basketball. But if this move is indeed Wade’s near end of the playing road, he, by nearly every metric, has won big time. Wade is largely accepted as the third-greatest shooting guard to ever live, behind only Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. The fifth overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft is the best shot-blocking guard of all time. He’s a three-time champion and a Finals MVP. And when it comes down to it, Wade, along with Pat Riley, staged the greatest coup in NBA free-agent history when he helped bring Chris Bosh and LeBron James to Miami in the summer of 2010. They went to four straight Finals, winning two, and the team will go down as the most provocative and culture-changing team since the Showtime Lakers.
Hold on. Not done yet. Wade also was able to play in his hometown of Chicago and got a crazy amount to do so, despite being out of his prime. Wade is watching his oldest son, Zaire, blossom into a promising young hooper. He also secured a buyout from those same Bulls, only to reunite in Cleveland with his best friend — the Laverne to his Shirley, the Daniel Kaluuya to his Lil Rel Howery, the Martin Lawrence to his Eddie Murphy, the Snoop Dogg to his Dr. Dre — in James. James had even provided a foreshadowing to the Wades’ return to the 305 area code: He posted a picture of himself, Wade and Heat lifer Udonis Haslem on Feb. 1.
With Thursday’s purge, Wade will presumably finish his career in Miami with absolutely no pressure on him — with the Bulls still paying him. And he’s doing so as an unquestioned first-ballot Hall of Famer. About the only thing left to do is re-win Papi Le Batard’s love. Gangstas don’t die, Jadakiss once said, they get chubby and move to Miami. That option is back on the table for Dwyane and Gabby. And likely minus the weight gain.