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David Hasselhoff in ‘Knight Rider’ served as an inspiration to a young Dwyane Wade

Long before he became the hilarious subject of an absurd (yet true) theory often offered up by Norm MacDonald and routinely featured on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update,” and later became Dirk Nowitzki’s favorite singing sensastion — actually, the two items actually mesh together pretty well, for obvious reasons — a little known actor named David Hasselhoff had a star-making turn portraying crime fighter Michael Knight on Knight Rider. Alongside his high-tech 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am named KITT, Hasselhoff rocketed to instant stardom on the NBC series that ran from 1982-86.

Little did Hasselhoff likely know at the time that the show that made him a household name also served as inspiration to help a young man get through some troubled times. A young man who would one day rise to stardom of his own, albeit on a basketball court and not on some cheesy television series.

That young man? Miami Heat superstar and NBA champion Dwyane Wade.

In his book, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball, Wade details some of his experiences growing up and spending time with his grandmother. Some of those times involved watching the old boob tube, and one show in particular: Knight Rider.

An excerpt from Wade’s book, as highlighted in a review by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (by way of Game On!):

“In his darkest days of a difficult youth, he turned to watching “Knight Rider” alongside his grandmother, writing, “I actually told David Hasselhoff how he helped me get through the tough times in childhood.”

There you have it. So, the next time you want to “Hassle the Hoff,” don’t. Without him and KITT and Knight Rider, the all-world basketball-playing phenom known as Dwyane Wade may never have achieved his destiny.

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