Monday 18th December 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

The Nextology of Michael Jordan: Part VII – Dwyane Wade

The Hoop Doctors love Michael Jordan. That’s got to be pretty obvious to everyone by now. So in honor of Michael, and to discourage the media from pretending to be clairvoyant in the future when it comes to comparing young ballers to the greatest to ever play, every week I will be shining a little light on each of the media’s shortcomings when it has come to these ridiculous and presumptuous predictions.

These posts are not intended to disrespect any of the players compared to Jordan in any way. They all had excellent careers and were or are tremendous basketball players. It is not your fault someone with very little knowledge of the game or even the skill to play this game decided to call you the “Next Jordan”. Part V to my series called “The Nextology of Michael Jordan” will be looking at Dwyane “Flash” Wade:

But to take a good look at how different their careers were, I think you always have to start off by taking a birds eye view of the comparison by checking out their individual career stats. Here is the statistical comparison below in this chart:

D.W. Stats: 25.0 ppg 4.9 rpg 6.7 apg 1.8 spg 0.9 bpg .484 FG% .281 3P% .773 FT%
M.J. Stats: 30.1 ppg 6.2 rpg 5.3 apg 2.4 spg 0.8 bpg .497 FG% .327 3P% .835 FT%

Of all the players I have covered in this series thus far, Dwyane Wade reminds me the most of Michael Jordan. I can’t pinpoint the source of the feeling exactly….maybe it’s D-Wade’s body, maybe it’s his attacking the rim with a reckless abandon, maybe it’s his steady improvement from year to year to always add a new weapon to his game, or maybe it’s his ability to dominate the game on the defensive end as much as he does on the offensive end. While i’m not so sure he will ever deserve the title “The Next Jordan”, especially after last season’s poor performance and the failings of the Miami Heat, he certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. At first glance D-Wade’s 25 points per game career average may seem largely inferior to MJ’s huge 30.1 career average, however you have to take a close look at the stats to see Wade is averaging 6.7 assists per game to Jordan’s 5.3. In other words, they both are affecting the offensive in a huge way for their respective ball clubs.

I’ve made it clear throughout this series that I hate when the media anoints players as “The Next Jordan” as they are doomed to failure. But in D-Wade’s case what frustrates me most are his flashes of brilliance that are Jordan-esque. Take the 2006 NBA Finals for example. In that series Dwyane Wade single-handedly carried the Miami Heat to the NBA Championship. He looked like the second coming of Michael Jordan himself, while he averaged 35 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals for the ENTIRE SERIES! Those are numbers that in the past only Jordan could possibly put up. Especially during the playoffs when it matters the most. One of Michael Jordan’s greatest qualities in my mind was his ability to stand out when it counts. It was almost as if Michael Jordan could sense “the big moments” and turn it up a notch to perform at a level no one had ever seen from a player. That was made fact by Jordan’s 6 NBA Finals MVP awards that he has to go along with this 6 NBA Championships. The very same trait is the only way I can explain Dwyane Wade’s performance in the 2006 NBA Finals. It didn’t matter how his team was playing, he would carry the load and will them to victory. Personally when I was watching that series I was thinking to myself “holy cow this is it…Dwyane Wade has become Michael Jordan…the next Jordan is actually here.”

Then the 2006-07 season started, Miami struggled mightily and I woke up to reality. There will never be another Michael Jordan. I had bought into too much of what the hype machine was feeding me during the 2006 playoffs. Sure there are players that will come along and show flashes of brilliance that will make you wonder if they have the potential to be as good as Michael Jordan. But can they sustain it for an entire career, year after year? That has always been the problem with the label, you have to fight against the odds of injuries and sustain that high level of personal performance and domination, and couple that with team success for an entire career before anyone (in the know) will legitimately give you the title of “The Next Jordan”. Dwyane Wade is still young and has a long career ahead of him to prove that his poor team success rate in 2006-07 and 2007-08 were aberrations caused by a combination of injury and roster, and will not define his career. But ask yourself this question…..If Michael Jordan in his prime was on the 2007-08 Miami Heat, and played 51 games of the season as Wade did, would the Heat have still only won a league low 15 games? I doubt it.

Tell us your thoughts below on Dwyane Wade being called ‘The Next Jordan’…..Also stay tuned next week for Part VIII, the final installment in the “Nextology of Michael Jordan” series by Dr. Anklesnap, where I will be taking a look at Kobe Bryant and how he stacks up to his ‘Airness’.

Links to Other ‘Nextology’ Posts:

Like this Article? Share it!

  • I’m just always amazed to see the stat line of each guy compared to Jordan…just makes us realize again and again how f-ing amazing MJ was. The entire body of work is so damn impressive.

    Aside from the year or so in Washington, he never had a bad year in his entire NBA career. He truly is the greatest of all time.

  • I agree with ‘kellex’ – MJ never really had any let downs. Even when he was 40 and on his last comeback in washington his stats were better than most of the stars we have today. when MJ was in prime he never would have lost many games like Wade and Heat last couple years. Also Kobe a few years ago didn’t make playoffs when shaq left. Michael prime on that team would have been Playoff and maybe even contender

  • KillaKam

    Dwayne Wade was injured last year, it really isnt fair to hold that against him. Its like holding Jordans first year back from baseball against him. An FYI Wades final performance was greatest of all times statistically(PER). I mean i know he isnt at jordans level but give a brotha a break.

  • syko

    I only have one question…how are you going to end this series with Kobe and not even mention or compare Lebron James? I’m not a cavs fan by any means, but James is so very good at both ends of the court and has the drive and talent to be the next Jordan more than any of these guys you have listed. The only other one on this list that is close would either be Wade (if he stays healthy) and Kobe (but he needs to be more of a team player and needs to drop his me first attitude)

  • @syko:

    That’s a very valid question. We actually had Lebron on our original list of players to use for this series, but then after valuable input from our readers and friends it was said that Lebron was never really compared to Jordan because he has played the majority of his career at the Small Forward spot, whereas Jordan was more of a backcourt player.

    Most people actually compared Lebron to a cross between Magic Johnson and Dr. J….due to his court vision coupled with amazing athletic ability and scoring prowess.

    Indeed Lebron needs to be mentioned as one of the greatest ever…but as far as direct comparison’s to MJ…it was decided it would be like comparing Apples to Oranges.

    Point taken though….thanks…

  • Legit

    @Dr. Anklesnap:

    Really? Your friends and readers have a more “valuable input” than Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, ESPN Magazine, the New York Times, and other various news outlets (search it yourself, I’ve done enough) about whether or not LeBron James is the next Michael Jordan?

    Seriously. You’re really going to disregard LeBron James off this blog because of his position? This blog is a joke. It’s not like James is a center or a power forward. Granted he’s bigger and stronger than Jordan ever was, but he’s definitely been able to prove that he has the athletic ability that MJ had and market on MJ’s level.

    What I noticed on this blog is that you never set a criteria for what “The Next Michael Jordan” needs to be. Essentially, you just find a flaw in every player and say “Jordan had that. This player didn’t.” That’s not a criteria. That’s just being stupid.

    So what? LeBron has “court vision coupled with amazing athletic ability and scoring prowess.” So now he’s compared to Dr. J and Magic Johnson? So you’re saying Michael Jordan never had the “court vision coupled with amazing athletic ability and scoring prowess” like Dr. J and Magic Johnson? And who are those “most people?” I challenge you to receive your information from a more reliable and credible source just as I did.

    LeBron James may never be what Michael Jordan was. Both are two completely different players. But so is Wade and Jordan. So is Kobe and Jordan. So is Carter and Jordan.

    Point is, every player is different. Nobody will ever be the Michael Jordan. But if you’re going to compare players that resemble Michael Jordan in some shape or form. LeBron James deserves to be on that list. Don’t agree with me? Talk to them


  • jeff

    Let me start by saying that I don’t think Wade is anywhere close to Michael Jordan. But having said that, a few things need to be pointed out.

    First, the career averages are misleading because MJ came in and took over the Bulls’ offense. Wade began his career as the Heat’s PG and third option on offense. Also, his second year, he and Shaq were kind of sharing the spotlight. It was only in his third year that he stepped to center stage and Shaq began to recede.

    Also, as somebody mentioned, Wade played with two major injuries for a year and a half, but he still suiteed up and PLAYED. If Jordan had tried to through his second year injury, I ‘m guessing that the Bulls may not have been very successful.

    One other thing that bugs me is that Wade doesn’t get credit for the first four months of his season the year after the champioship. The guy was averaging 29 pts./ 8 asts./ and 5 rebs. Then, he got hurt but came back for the last part of the season and his averages fell to 27 pts. and 5 asts.

    Anyway, as you can tell I’m a pretty big Wade fan, but the thing is I live nowhere near Miami. I was a huge Jordan fan too, and I didn’t live anywhere near Chicago. Now I reiterate that Wade is definitely no Jordan, but I understand why he reminds you of Mike. Because watching him play gives me the same feelings I had when I was a kid growing up and watching Michael play every chance I got.

  • James

    ppl thought wade had fallen off after the injuries. That he was just another Grant Hill, who let injuries affect his career. Im not saying wade is jordan, cuz hes not there yet. but i gotta say hes the closest I’ve ever seen. His ability to get to the rim, his clutch performances, and his ability to will his team to a win is so jordanlike. Remember, jordan was known for his finals performances and of course his finals mvp, out of lebron, kobe, and wade guess only who has one? Wade, through his amazing finals vs the mavericks. I don’t see how people are always comparing know to jordan when he has yet carried his team to a title. Lastly, the thing that wade most reminds me of jordan is that he always proves ppl wrong. He was the “afterthought” in the 03 draft. He could not shoot in the finals. He would not come back strong from injuries. Hes proven every single critic wrong. He just keeps doing it. Whenever people forget about him, he always puts up a performance to remember. The nba is supposed to be all about Lebron, Lebron is the prince of the nba. Everything that he has is given to him. While wade has had to earn every single thing.

  • jeff

    * Correction on my post above *

    Wade’s final averages in 06 – 07 were 27 pts. , 5 REBS, and 7 asts. I typed 5 asts when I meant to type 5 rebs. Anyway, the point is that those were in line with what he averaged the year before, but playing injured at the end reduced what would have been career highs for him, until this year.

    Oh and speaking of this year, I’m wondering why you didn’t mention what Wade is doing this year. He’s averaging almost 30 pts, 8 asts, and 5 rebs, and has a terrible team competing for the fourth seed in the playoffs.

  • nafis

    lebron is the next jordan

  • This is a really cool feature…

    D-Wade has really made great strides this year, shocking!

  • Will

    This whole thing is bogus, but I’ll wait for the Kobe comparison to elaborate.

  • ojedachess

    i said it since he was a rookie , he reminds me more of jordan than anyone , including kobe. he reminds me of the younger jordan. that crossover. thats the main main comparison. look at the younger mj and its almost identical they kind of palm the ball almost and push the ball in front of them which gives them a quick first step… and also the shots that fall in. even when hes not trying all attacking instinct. you cant practice that …. u cant imitate that (KOBE) . i hope he gets nba mvp this year. he got robbed the rookie of the year already…

  • J Roc

    great comparison they are an exact replica of each other….i think hes dwade is the next jordan jus bcuz of his stature….he attacks non stop and his mid range game…not to mention tha way he contributes in the steals and blocks category jus like jordan…..and jordan also didnt win a championship until his 7th yr. and dwade won it in 3yrs. even with an aging shaq…..but jordan got in jured in his 3 rd season and miss damn near tha whole season….so dwade shouldnt be held accountable for that hes tha nex Jordan….

  • mykal

    no one makes you love basketball as much as when watching mj play. Sometimes when watching Dwane Wade play that feeling comes back. For me it’s a feeling that has almost been forgotten. Kobe has his moments and he’s an exceptional player, but i just don’t get that “i love this game” feeling. Lebron is a monster and sometimes when watching him drive towards the basket…. the game just seems unfair because of his physique. Maybe you can will find other similarities in other players resembling Jordan but Wade makes me love basketball the way MJ did. That does it for me.

  • abdul

    After reading your article I agree with everything you said about the comparison between wade and jordan with the exception that if jordan was on the 2007-08 heat team that they would have won more games. Even if God himself was on that team they stilll wouldn’t have won more games than that. What you conveniently left out was that wade was never healthy after the 2006 championship run. Which caried through 2007, and 2008. Why? some of you may ask. Simple, he did something no other player has done in the history of the game not even the mighty himself (that is jordan ). We can argue about it until the sun comes down that wade and wade alone won that championship. Shaq was no show, and it looks like with the exception of wade everyone on that roster was over 30. Looking back at that team I wonder how in the hell did they win the title then I’ll remember they had a guy name flashed. I could organize a pick up basketball team from the 80’s and I bet they will not be as old as the 2006 nba champions the miami heat. Wade took so much beaten in that series that he was never the same after that until this year. And as all of us witnessed without a healthy wade the miami heat wouldn’t have won no more than 15 or less games this year. He literally won 25 games by himself, I mean by himself with team mates standing around watching in amazement. If wade was put in lebrons team with that supporting cast is cavs that will be hoisting the nba title not the lakers. With all set and done wade is the only player we’ll be comparing to michael not lebron, and not kobe. Even the lebrons and the kobes are afraid of the guy. They’ve witnessed it first hand in last years olympia when he was getting back from injury. The guy was coming off the bench, played less minutes than every starter on that team and yet scored more points than any player in the olympics. What was incredible was how easy he made those points looked. Without him the US team would have lost that championship game. He scored 27 points to lift the US team to victory. Throughout history I never recall any player that had to work with less talent around him than the man they call FLUSH, yet he’s already won a tiltle with a bunch of old and slower players than my grandpa. Everyone that read this should make a note as long as wade stays healthy lebron will never win a title. This was his best year and blew it with wade having basically no one to play with. Next year Wade is due for another title and I don’t really care who they surround him with. MY BOLD PREDICTION IS FLUSH IS GOING TO WIN MVP AWARD AND WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN 5 GAMES AGAINST DENVER NUGGUTS WITH ANOTHER FINALS MVP

  • nicco

    abdul: “Even the lebrons and the kobes are afraid of the guy.” h?v=yFQOid1ERSc

  • Ron

    NBA rules are a lottt lighter and more forgiving now when compared to when Jordan played, if that’s taken into account what Jordsn did in his career is even mire amazing. Wade can’t touch Jordan. Jordan has achieved legend status. Saying Wade is better then Jordan is like syaing that Lil Wayne is better then Eminem. What a joke it’s so ridiculous even insulting. Jordan in is in another level much higher above Wade, just like Eminem over Wayne.