Dwyane Wade wasn’t the only prominent name to leave a team behind during the 2019 NBA offseason, and now that the dust has (maybe?) settled on a whirlwind free agency period, the retired Miami Heat star is left to cope with maybe the most untimely, unfortunate jersey collection ever assembled.
It’s customary for big names to swap jerseys after games, but Wade took the practice to another level throughout the 2018-19 season, his last one in the NBA. You don’t want to put a bow on a 13-time All-Star career, after all, without stocking up on all the memorabilia you can get, not to mention passing your own iconic jersey onto the superstars still in the game.
Yet Thursday night’s blockbuster, a package deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and just the latest in a groundbreaking list of 2019 shakeups, was like the nail in the coffin of D-Wade’s collection.
“All I know is my jersey swap collection is looking kinda bootleg since (free agency) started,” he tweeted. “In 20 years, ain’t no one believing those players played in those uniforms.”
“Bootleg,” it turns out, is an understatement.
Each and every one of the following notable players exchanged jerseys with Wade as tribute to the longtime Heat standout during the 2018-19 season but has since been traded or signed elsewhere. And note that these aren’t just a bunch of random role players. These are legitimate faces of the NBA, all of whom no longer wear the jerseys they gave to Wade:
If Wade ever comes out of retirement, players should be wary of giving him their jersey.