Pat Riley Says D Wade Understands LeBron is The Leader of the Heat


I always though Dwyane Wade was in a no lose situation. If the Heat failed LeBron would be blamed, if the Heat succeeded he would always have one more championship and his legacy would be enhanced.

The only small problem is he would have to take #2 status if LeBron started to flourish. That had to be difficult for him, but the reward has been plentiful.

Pat Riley says Wade has become more comfortable in that Aquaman role.

What has become more important, however, is being a team leader. James said he recognizes that Dwyane Wade has had to make sacrifices for the sake of winning championships. And Wade has his own critics who say that he’s not the player he used to be. When James senses that Wade is getting frustrated with his touches, he’ll make sure to get him the ball.

“It’s about letting him know who he still is,” James said in a separate story in this week’s ESPN The Magazine. “‘You’re still D-Wade and no matter what people say you can still get it done.'”

While James says that he and Wade are both alphas, Heat president Pat Riley leaves no doubt as to who is the leader of the pack.

“Dwyane realizes that he’s playing with the real deal and that in the biggest moments the ball will be in LeBron’s hands,” Riley said. “And he realizes that doesn’t make a difference. If they keep winning and make sure that’s [priority] No. 1, they’ll go down as one of the greatest [teams] in history.”

Riley is absolutely correct, it is better to be the #2 on a winner than #1 on a loser.