Don’t call it a comeback. Just call it pure motivation.
The Miami Heat have been rejuvenated by the return of longtime franchise lynchpin Dwyane Wade at the trade deadline. Wade himself has appeared at ease and comfortable again in the clutch, which is a critical development for Miami’s success. That reached a new level Tuesday, just a day after Wade dedicated the remainder of his NBA season to a Marjory Stoneman Douglas victim who was buried in his jersey.
As Wade noted on social media, 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver was buried Sunday. His family opted to place him in his coffin while wearing his favorite Wade Heat jersey. The decision clearly touched Wade, who responded by dedicating his season to Oliver on Twitter:
With the Heat facing off against the 76ers in Miami a day later, Wade arrived at American Airlines Arena and wrote Oliver’s name on his shoes. The team wore patches memorializing the victims on their jerseys. And then Wade went out and drilled a game-winner in the final eight seconds to give Miami an emotional win.
Afterward, Wade was cognizant of just how much that shot and his dedication to Oliver meant:
“That (Oliver’s family) thought of me in that process, as something that he would have wanted, is mindboggling,” Wade told the Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds. “Some due respect to him and his family.”
And to all the families of the victims. For one night they got to celebrate another Heat win, just like old times.