Despite having played with such Hall of Famers as Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Ray Allen, Gary Payton and Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade did not choose a former teammates to present him into the Hall of Fame.
Instead, when Wade takes the stage on Aug. 12, he will do so with Hall of Famer and former NBA star Allen Iverson serving as his official presenter. Because the two never played together and so many former Miami Heat teammates were available, the decision was met with some confusion by Wade fans.
However, as Wade explained to Andscape’s Marc Spears, his choice is meant to highlight Iverson’s importance to the history of the NBA.
“It was important to me that I touched the culture when I did this,” Wade said. “And Allen Iverson is somebody who gets forgotten for what he means to this game and what he means to a community and to a culture. And so, I want to bring that back to the front in the forefront and give him his flowers like he deserved and just tell him how important he was, man, to not only me, but to all the little boys that looked like me and look like him.
“He probably doesn’t get the chance to hear that all the time. We talk about [Michael] Jordan all the time. We talk about LeBron [James], we talk about Kobe [Bryant]. We don’t talk about A.I. He’s one of the [great] ones. So, I’m thankful that he said yeah, and I can’t wait for him to be the one to present me.”
Since retiring in 2019, Wade also appears to have developed a strong relationship with Iverson. The two were seen embracing after a Kobe Bryant tribute during the 2020 All-Star Weekend in Chicago. Wade has said one of the reasons he wore No. 3 was because of Iverson, who wore the number for most of his career, from 1996-2010.
Other members of the 2023 Hall of Fame class include Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Becky Hammon and Gregg Popovich.