It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade receives special gift from San Antonio Spurs


Minutes before the start of Miami Heat’s match versus San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich suprised Dwyane Wade with a special gift as he continues his farewell tour before retirement.

After the national anthem, the Spurs played a tribute video for Wade. Then, Popovich came to the Heat bench to embrace him, and presented the Heat star with a black and silver box. Inside are the jerseys of legendary Spurs icons Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

“He certainly is an iconic figure as far as NBA basketball goes,” Popovich said before the game. “And it’s not just because of the way he played. He played hard. He played to win. He had a ferocious attitude on the court. But it was matched with a wonderful smile and a great understanding of the world and community off the court. I think that’s what made him so special — a coveted teammate, somebody that everybody enjoyed playing with, a guy that cared about more than just basketball. That’s what makes him iconic in my mind.”

The Heat also had a wonderful night as they won over the Spurs 110-105. Wade had 11 points and two rebounds in the 20 minutes he played.

“That was dope,” Wade said after the game. “I knew from preseason. Pop let me know that they were going to do something for me here. But that was cool. I didn’t know it was going to be before the game, and I liked the music swag they had on it, the videos they put up. It was real cool. I’m so thankful, so appreciative. I don’t expect those things to happen to me at all. I just come out and do my job every night. I’m thankful for the relationships I have. I have a great one with Coach, and I just appreciate what they did.”

“Those are guys I have the utmost respect for with Duncan, Ginobili and Parker,” Wade added, “so I appreciate those jerseys.”

Wade also did the swapping of jerseys with DeMar DeRozan, signing notes to each other.

A little more time remains for the soon-to-be Hall of Famer as there are 11 more games for him. (Janiel Abby Toralba)