Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe

Wade scoffs at Jordan comparisons

DALLAS (Reuters) - Dwyane Wade insists he is not ready to be compared with Michael Jordan.

Wade, was certainly Jordanesque, however, in leading the Miami Heat to a 95-92 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, his team clinching their first title in franchise history.

"No comparison," said Wade after reporters likened his performance to the former Chicago Bulls great. "He was my greatest role model as an athlete.

"Besides my father at home, he was kind of like my second father because he's the guy that I watched and felt like I was a part of Michael Jordan.

"The comparison is flattering but at the same time there will never be another Jordan."

Led by Wade's heroics, Miami swept the Mavericks in four straight games after losing the first two.

Wade averaged 34.7 points in the series, the third highest scoring average for a player in his first Finals, and was unanimously named the most valuable player.

The Mavericks opened the series hoping to handcuff Shaquille O'Neal and force someone else to beat them. When O'Neal played solidly but not spectacularly, Dallas honed in on Wade.

But the third-year guard fought off double teams -- even triple teams -- with an array of acrobatic moves to the hoop or a dependable long-range jump shot.

"I've never had a player like this," said Heat coach Pat Riley, whose four title teams with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s featured Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

"I have not been around a player who can absolutely at times beat five guys, and then at the same time, make great plays to players."

In addition to his 36 points, Wade had 10 rebounds and five assists, including a key dish to James Posey with less than four minutes left.


Posey hit a three-pointer that put the Heat up 87-81 with less than four minutes to go in what Riley described as the biggest play of the game.

"Some of that stuff, you just can't teach," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said of Wade's feel for the game. "When a player is making those kind of plays it's really no tricky play.

"He's beating double-teams, he's beating triple teams. There's no tricks there. It's a straight isolation play."

After losing the first two games of the series in Dallas, Wade averaged 40 points during the Heat's three consecutive wins in Miami.

Johnson said Wade had a lot of will to win.

"You've seen a lot of players, like Jordan, that have had those type of performances," he said. "We tried a lot of different things. But he just had a lot of desire to get it done."

O'Neal admits he came to Miami from the Lakers two years ago because of Wade.

"Dwayne Wade is a great player, very, very humble, keeps everybody involved and he's the reason I came to Miami," said the 13-time All-Star. "He's a special player."

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives