Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade will cover the 2015 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.
More specifically, The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson’s sources told him on June 2 Wade will serve as a studio analyst for Games 2 and 3. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 as well.
Wade calling the NBA Finals with his former teammate LeBron James leading the charge for the Cavaliers will be very interesting, to say the least.
As a matter of fact, Jackson says “ABC has been trying to arrange a Wade interview of LeBron James.”
We’re sure this is something that will go viral on Twitter should it materialize.
— NBA (@NBA) June 2, 2015
Jackson stresses Wade and James have remained close buddies. The Miami Herald report says Wade was the only Heat player to go public and congratulate LBJ on making his fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
Wade and James were together for four of those appearances as members of the Heat, per The South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. They joined forces to help Miami win back-to-back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013.
Wade will first appear on NBA Countdown at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 7. He will be part of the studio panel consisting of Sage Steele, Doug Collins and Jalen Rose, per The Miami Herald.
In terms of on-court matters, Wade’s agent, Henry Thomas, told Jackson on Tuesday he will continue to discuss his client’s contract situation with the Heat.
Wade prefers to opt out of his $16.1 million deal for the 2015-16 NBA season and hammer out a new, three-year deal, preferably with Miami, per Jackson.
When Winderman asked James during Cavaliers practice on Tuesday for comment on Wade’s contract situation, James asked if Wade actually declared he will opt out of his current deal with the Heat.
Winderman can only confirm Wade’s plan to opt out as coming from various reports.
When James found out, he declined to elaborate further. “I’m not commenting on it,” he told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “If Dwyane Wade didn’t say, ‘I’m opting out,’ then I’m not commenting on that.”
James also told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on June 2 he feels he’s playing the best basketball of his 11-year NBA career:
“I think if you put it all together, yeah,” James told McMenamin. “If you put everything together as far as my mind, my body, my game. If you put everything in one bottle, this is probably the best I’ve been.”
James put off ranking the current postseason compared to the others he’s had. He said he’ll only be able to do that at the conclusion of the 2015 NBA Finals against the Warriors.
“I don’t know, I’ve had some great playoff runs before,” James told ESPN. “I don’t know if this is the top right now, we’ll see in less than a month.”
James has been averaging 27.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 8. 3 assists in the 2015 NBA playoffs, per ESPN stats.
The Final Say
We’ve seen many former NBA players take a stab at being a basketball analyst on television. Guys like Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Reggie Miller, Steve Smith, Rick Fox, Brent Barry and Mark Jackson have all had successful careers in the sports broadcasting industry.
Their unique personalities and knowledge of the NBA game put a unique spin and perspective on the game.
That being said, we can’t help but wonder how Dwyane Wade will do in front of television cameras—for NBA Finals games, no less.
Through the years, we’ve seen D-Wade during interviews with the media. He can be engaging and accommodating.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 2, 2015
We will most likely expect the same thing in his analysis. He has 11 years of NBA experience. He has been to five NBA Finals. He has three championship rings. He’s battle-tested, having gone up against premiere opposition over the years.
Wade has also learned from the likes of Stan Van Gundy, Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra on the Heat bench. He knows the intricacies of the game.
Our fearless forecast has him dissecting the game like the seasoned veteran he is, making the 2015 NBA Finals more riveting for the viewers. Needless to say, having Dwyane Wade on board will help ABC’s television rankings in more ways than one.
With him possibly interviewing LeBron James during the NBA Finals, it will be like long-lost friends being reunited on a global scale—Wade proud of James for leading a once-moribund Cleveland Cavaliers franchise to their first Finals stint in eight years and James happy to see his friend support him and land a lucrative spot on television.
This will be sports drama at its absolute finest.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all stats are current as of June 3 and are courtesy of ESPN.com.