Thursday, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade celebrated his 31st birthday. In a fashion typical of life in the NBA, the Chicago native experienced the anniversary of his birth while flying on a late night flight between Oakland and Los Angeles, followed by a very early morning arrival at Miami’s downtown Los Angeles hotel, with only 21 hours to rest before a back-to-back, national television game with the Los Angeles Lakers. To boot, the two-time NBA champion was named a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star roster, the ninth All-Star selection of his career. Talk about an action packed birthday!
During the late afternoon portion of his big day, Wade was serenaded with the singing of “Happy Birthday,” courtesy of a group of LA hoops fans, stationed outside the Omni Los Angeles Hotel. This scene is visible per the above iFolloSports.com original video clip. Dressed in a bright red suit and “Jimmy Goldstein” tee-shirt, the 2009 NBA scoring champion gave a quick acknowledgment of the hastily assembled choir, prior to hopping on the team charter bus.
Despite the unconventional nature of Wade’s celebratory activities, something tells us that the Marquette alum is just fine with the life he has chosen for himself, particularly when considering the $17.1 million he will be adding to his bank account, throughout the course of this season.
Prior to touching down in Southern California, Wade found himself in the news regarding a rumored beef between him and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, stemming from a fourth quarter benching in Miami’s Monday loss to the Utah Jazz. All parties downplayed the existence of any tension, but despite averaging 20 points per game this season, many observers of professional basketball believe that Wade’s level of productivity may well be on the decline. While this notion of a downturn is very much up for debate, if the Heat right their midseason slumber and once again find themselves in the NBA Finals, it is pretty safe to say that all of this talk will quickly go by the wayside. Only the Heat can go 6-6, during a midseason 12-game stretch, and illicit this degree of angst.
Welcome to the soap opera that is the 26-12 Miami Heat. That’s right, Miami leads the East with a 26-12 record. Let’s cut the birthday boy a little bit of slack please.
In Miami’s 99-90 victory over the Lakers, “Mr. Decline” totaled 27 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.