LOS ANGELES — Dwyane Wade might have retired from the NBA after a farewell season with the Miami Heat last year, but he doesn’t have to be in the gym prepping for next season with his former teammate LeBron James to know that the Lakers star is ready to go.
“I don’t need to talk to him about this year. You all know LeBron. He’s in the lab, he’s getting ready, he’s going to give you the best version of LeBron James,” Wade said at the launch for NBA 2K20, which he’s gracing the cover of for the “Legend Edition” of the game.
Wade has played with James, winning two titles together with the Heat, and so he’s seen his share of extraordinary feats from his close friend and Taco Tuesday enthusiast. But for all the iconic lob finishes he’s witness, and insane shots he’s seen James hit, Wade made it sound like he might be as impressed as anything with the longevity of a player who came into the league at the same time as him.
“I think what we all love to see is a guy going into his 17th season still dominating the league the way he’s been dominating. It’s truly special, so keep watching,” Wade said.
At the @NBA2K 20 Launch Party, Dwyane Wade said he expects continued greatness from LeBron James this year, and that the way he's still going in year 17 is "truly special"— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) September 6, 2019
( via @MiaAgraviador)https://t.co/xVVAjW9GZI pic.twitter.com/OmY6SlSCmN
Those who do tune in will be treated to what looks poised to be an NBA season as competitive as any in recent memory, and one that will perhaps be headlined by the clashes between James’ Lakers and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s Clippers. With Anthony Davis on James’ side and both teams set to be good at the same moment for one of the first times ever, Wade says it’s a “great time” to be a fan of sports in Southern California.
“I look forward to being a fan and rooting these teams on,” Wade said. “Obviously with LeBron being on the Lakers, I got a dog in the fight from a friend standpoint, but I definitely think it’s going to be a great time this season to enjoy basketball and sports.”
Wade said he plans to spend some of his retirement at Staples Center watching his friend, and while future NBA Hall-of-Famers aren’t usually incredibly relatable to the less superhuman among us, in one sense Wade will be just like the rest of us this year: Watching and marveling at the borderline-unbelievable level his fellow 2003 draft pick is still operating at, all these years later.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. NBA 2K20 releases on Sept. 6 and can be ordered here. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.