As luck would have it, two of Chicago’s finest wound up in the same starting backcourt in Cleveland of all places, often raising the question of how special this one-two punch could have been with Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade both at their prime, back in 2011.
Wade didn’t shy away from this hypothetical question, noting everything happens for a reason.
“It’s true,” Wade said with a laugh when informed of the shade already being thrown his team’s way, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We would have been great in 2011! Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still be good now.”
“It’s a different time. And I think back then, we was young guys who were in our primes and playing the way that we could play at that time and then you make adjustments to your game, to your body, to your age and people don’t give you enough credit for that.”
Rose was forced to improve his mid-range game after adjusting to a less explosive gameplay after multiple nagging injuries. Wade switched to a more finesse style of finishing at the rim after endless trips to the free-throw line early in his career, which had left him banged and bruised. His floater game and play in the post helped to get him some other ways to score.
“It’s hard work to make adjustments to the game and having injuries and things like that,” said Wade. “There’s not many LeBrons out here, guys that don’t get injured. There’s not many Russells [Russell Westbrook], but even Russell’s gotten injured. There’s not many guys like that.”
“I think Derrick has done a great job of fighting through injuries and coming back and fighting through injuries and coming back and it takes a strong mental guy to be able to do that. I fought through a lot myself.”
The two will give the Cavs a much different look going into this season, boasting a star-studded lineup, even if some are a few years past their prime.