Miami Heat icon Dwyane Wade has a trophy case that any Hall of Famer would be proud of. He amassed countless accolades throughout a decorated basketball career. However, one individual award Wade never won was the Most Valuable Player trophy.
Wade recently opened up about the 2008-09 MVP race wherein he came third in the voting behind LeBron James, who was then with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant (who incidentally, led LA to a championship that year), respectively. According to Wade, it was at that point in his career that he stopped caring about stats:
“I didn’t care about individual stats,” Wade said, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “I just came off a year in 2008-09 where I thought I should have been MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, and I didn’t get either one of them. I stopped caring about individual stats because I realized that didn’t mean anything.”
Not only did Wade believe that he was the 2009 MVP, but in his mind, he should have also bagged the Defensive Player of the Year award that season. Once again, Wade came third in the DPOY voting that year behind the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard (he led his team all the way to the NBA Finals that season) and LeBron James, respectively.
Based on a numbers standpoint, Wade’s 2008-09 campaign with the Heat was his best season as a pro. He averaged a career-best 30.2 points on 49.1 percent shooting, to go along with 5.0 rebounds, and 7.5 assists (also a career-high). He also logged career-best numbers in steals (2.2) and blocks (1.3). You can clearly see where Wade is coming from with his bold MVP and DPOY claim.
Be that as it may, the NBA didn’t feel that Wade had done enough for the Heat that season to win either of the two coveted individual awards. For his part, it served as a harsh lesson for the Heat icon about no longer putting such a high premium on individual numbers. For what it’s worth, Wade went on to win two more titles with the Heat after that season, making him a three-time NBA champ and a shoo-in to the Hall of Fame.