Monday, August 4, 2008

Who else can best personify The Redeem Team than D-Wade?

Not so long ago it seems, basketball glory only belonged to Team USA. That is, until they spectacularly crashed and burned in the 2004 Summer Olympics, going down against the likes of Puerto Rico (!), Lithuania and Argentina, even while they had NBA superstars like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Tim Duncan and Allan Iverson playing for the team.

Ironically, not so long ago, Dwyane Wade was at the top of NBA glory. He had the top-selling jersey in the NBA from 2005 to 2006 and, by leading the
Miami Heat to the 2006 NBA championship, he became the youngest player in the talent-laden 2003 NBA Draft class to win the NBA's top prize. But shortly after that, hip, knee and shoulder surgeries kept D-Wade grounded for a good number of games, costing the Heat the chance to defend the championship in 2007 and giving the Heat a disappointing (and that's an understatement!) 15-67 record at the end of the 2008 season.

So having D-Wade as part of The Redeem Team certainly defines irony since both the team and the player are looking for redemption.

And so far, things are looking are looking pretty good - for both the team and D-Wade.

He's Team USA's second-leading scorer behind LeBron James, averaging 17.4 points on 71 percent shooting (80 percent on 3-pointers!) in the team's first 3 exhibition games which they managed to win convincingly(?) against Canada, Turkey and Lithuania. And the fact that he scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in just 7 second-half minutes against Lithuania certainly can't be missed, not to mention that his new outside jumper (again, 80 percent on 3-pointers!) is a welcome addition to his lay-it-all-out, drive-to-the-hoop arsenal of moves.

So on a roster that's packed with superstars that are simply oozing with talent and are all equally hungry to bring back Olympic basketball gold to the land that invented the game, for the sixth man spot who can provide the explosive power the team needs off the bench, then there's really no better match for The Redeem Team than D-Wade.

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