“I Respectfully Wore The No. 3 To Represent The Love And Respect That I Have For This Man” | D-Wade Pays Homage To AI In HOF Speech

On his night, the crowning achievement of his basketball career, Dwyane Wade paid homage to one of his heroes: Allen Iverson. The Philadelphia 76ers legend and fellow Hall of Famer presented Wade for enshrinement and the mutual respect and love was evident.

“I respectfully wore the No. 3 throughout my college and NBA career to represent the love and respect that I have for this man,” said Wade. 

AI Is The Culture

Iverson meant so much to young hoopers all over the world. He was as Wade said in his speech “the culture.” From the arm sleeve, to the cornrows, tattoos, scintillating play, and yes the defiance; Iverson influenced an entire generation of hoopers.

“Our heroes are not always perfect. Instead, they a possess a relatability that makes them touchable and real. When anyone speaks about Allen Iverson, that’s exactly what they say,” said Wade. “You brought hope to those who grew up with limited resources. You showed us that success and greatness are attainable even in the face of adversity. Your struggles made your accomplishments that much more remarkable. A.I., you are a living, breathing reminder that redemption and growth are possible.”

Somebody pass the Kleenex. It’s a bit dusty in here…

Wade’s speech was as good as it gets for a Hall of Fame induction. He touched on it all. The journey to basketball immortality doesn’t happen alone.

A Deserving Honoree

It begins with inspiration from a legend. Your own dedication and commitment to the craft through immense sacrifice. Not only the athlete’s sacrifice, but sacrifice of those around them as well. The ability to see the vision, even though you know it is a statistical improbability.

Making the NBA is hard enough and from there, less than 4 percent of NBA players make it to the Hall of Fame.

Wade’s on-court accomplishments put him among the best. Three-time NBA champion, Finals MVP, 13-time All-Star, All-Star MVP, eight-time All-NBA, three-time All-Defense, scoring champion, Olympic Bronze and Gold medals as a member of Team USA Basketball, and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

The man they call “Flash” is somewhere in the top-5 shooting guards in NBA history. You can debate where some other time. The first-ballot Hall of Fame honor is well deserved.

Wade was joined in the 2023 class by: Pau Gasol, Becky Hammon, Dirk Nowtizki, Tony Parker, and Gregg Popovich.

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