NBA legend Michael Jordan puts Dwyane Wade ahead of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in the 2009 MVP race.
The late 2000s saw a new era of superstars in the NBA. That included the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James. While the Lakers were the top seed in the western conference in the 2008-09 season, the Cavaliers led by LeBron James dominated the east.
On the other hand, the Miami heat was the 4th seed in the eastern conference led by 2006 Finals MVP Dwyane Wade. The Heat superstar had one of the best Finals performances of all time in the 2006 NBA Finals.
During the time, Kobe Bryant was a 3x NBA champion on a quest for his 4th title. LeBron James was one of the most promising upcoming talents in the NBA. The kid from Akron made his first NBA Finals appearance at the age of 22.
According to Michael Jordan, Wade was so great during the 2008-09 season that he deserved to win the MVP that year.
Also read: “King James Y’all are doing one helluva job”: 3x NBA champion Dwyane Wade heaps praises of his Miami teammate LeBron James for doing a great job in making Bronny James a complete basketball player
MJ felt that if you removed Kobe and LeBron from their respective teams, they were still great, whereas that was not the same case with D-Wade.
According to Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade carried the 2008-09 Miami Heat team on his shoulders
LeBron James was crowned the 2008-09 regular season MVP. The former rookie of the year averaged 28.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 1.1 BPG on a 48.9% shooting from the field. The Cavs were the top seed in the NBA with an impressive 66 wins.
This was followed by a great playoff run by the Cavs, who clinched a spot in the ECF but fell short to the Orlando Magic in 6 games. James averaged an incredible 38.5 PPG on a 48.7% shooting during the series.
Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade was crowned the 2009 scoring champion. Flash averaged 30.2 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5.0 RPG, 2.2 SPG, and 1.3 BPG on a 49.1% shooting from the field. Bulls legend Michael Jordan was so impressed by Wade’s performance that he considered him the MVP of that year.
If you take Lebron off the Cavs in 2009 they going 0-82 🤣 MJ needa lay off the henny https://t.co/8OR14cUUb1
— Sam Yeezy (@samstaydipped) July 26, 2021
MJ further added by saying that the team had no chance to win if Wade wasn’t playing every day for them. Though, the team had the likes of Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers. Haslem was even a part of the 2006 championship team of the Miami Heat.
However, the Heat was eliminated in the first round of the 2009 NBA playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks.
On the other hand, the 2008-09 season had the LA Lakers crowned NBA champions. Kobe Bryant won his first Finals MVP averaging 32.4 PPG on a 43.0% shooting in the Finals.
MJ may have been right in his personal opinion of having Wade as the 2009 MVP. But the fact that LeBron James played with a relatively unknown roster and still won 66 games is pure greatness. James was only 24-years old during that time.