Sportress of Blogitude

Dwyane Wade praises Kobe Bryant in powerful Instagram tribute

Dwyane Wade took to Instagram on Wednesday to post a powerful tribute to Kobe Bryant, a longtime rival who also served as the Miami Heat superstar’s on-court benchmark by which he judged himself.

Wade posted footage from one of countless heroic efforts on the court from Bryant during his 20-year Los Angeles Lakers career.

“Black Mamba !!! I remember watching him closely when i in high school, college and the NBA,” Wade wrote. “This dude was UnReal! I remember the day i heard he was retiring and selfishly i thought Nooooooo. Who will i have to chase? Who stats will i’d check as soon as my game ends? I knew inside I’ll never be the same when he retired. A lot of y’all forget very easy that this dude was an absolute BEAST! @kobebryant thank you for your greatness!”

What makes Wade’s tribute so compelling beyond the heartfelt message is its timing. Interestingly, Wade’s post comes a day after speculation swirled that Bryant would be joining the BIG3 league next season. Those rumors, though, were quickly discredited.

Perhaps even more relevant, however, is Wade is said to be seriously considering retirement ahead of the 2018-10 NBA season. Could confronting his own basketball mortality inspired Wade to consider how he felt when Kobe retired? Hard to say.

Wade and Bryant’s careers of course overlapped for many, many years when both superstars were hailed as two of the best players in the NBA, in their era and otherwise. As noted, the timing of Wade’s tribute to Kobe is indeed interesting, but there really isn’t ever a situation when praising Bryant could be deemed untimely.