Wade Wants a Dance Partner in Miami
He was speaking to guys like LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer. And he was speaking from experience.
You can't dance your way to a championship without a great playing partner.
"You need two (stars) to win it all,'' Wade said Friday during All-Star Weekend. "That's a proven. I understand what it takes to win.''
Kobe Bryant had Pau Gasol with the Lakers last season. Kevin Garnett had Paul Pierce and Ray Allen the year before in Boston. Tim Duncan had Tony Parker in 2007.
Wade, who is part of the most attractive collection of free agents in many years, won his championship in 2006 with Shaquille O'Neal in Miami. In each case, it was a big and a small coming together.
And he wants to win another one.
He also understands why his Miami Heat are struggling now, hovering around the .500 mark at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff ladder. It's why he has become so antsy, almost desperate to find a new running mate.
He has a few key pieces and a promising support cast in Miami, but he still lacks the second star. He averaged a career-high 30.2 points last season, but the Heat were merely a .500 team who couldn't get past the first round of the playoffs.
"It's so much harder to do it yourself,'' he said. "You saw it with Kobe, a great player, but he couldn't win it with the Lakers until he got Pau (Gasol) to make it work.''
Bryant won three championships earlier in his career with O'Neal as the Lakers center. Until Gasol arrived, his between years were marked by frustration.
"You have to have the right guy, the right mentality, two guys willing to give for each other and the team, and still get what they want,'' Wade said. "It's fun to think about the possibilities that two superstars can team up (this summer) on their own, and not with a trade.''
Wade clearly was trying to send a message to James, Bosh or Stoudemire, that one of them will be welcomed with open arms to Miami. There also is the theory that he could leave Miami to join one of the others, possibly in New York or New Jersey, which will have salary cap space for two high-profile stars.
"I'm not thinking about being in another uniform. I'm thinking of building a dynasty in Miami,'' he said. "We don't live in an ideal world, but that would be the ideal situation to me. I don't want to leave where I'm at.''
Wade laughed at the suggestion that he would had become a recruiter, trying to lure one of the stars away from his current team.
"First of all, I'm done recruiting. I've recruited enough, and it never works. I'm not a good recruiter. I won't be going into college recruiting when I'm done (playing),'' he said. "Miami is where I want to be. I'm not going to be pumped and jumping up and down to leave Miami. This is a place I want to build. I just have to get people to come.''