Despite ongoing efforts from friends, opponents, and fans to change his mind, Dwyane Wade is sticking to his plan to retire from the NBA at the end of the 2018/19 season. However, that’s not to say he doesn’t believe he could keep playing if he wanted to. Speaking to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Wade said the thinks he could play “a solid two more years,” at least.
“Especially in this role that I’m in now, I can play another two, three years, definitely,” Wade said. “People around me want me to keep playing. But I made the decision to say this was my last season and I wanted to walk away the way I’m walking away now and have no regrets about it.”
Wade, who turned 37 in January, set new career lows in minutes and points per game last season, but has reversed that trend this year, averaging 14.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.8 RPG in 63 games (25.6 MPG) for the Heat. The 13-time All-Star has played particularly well lately as Miami pushes to secure a playoff spot, scoring 15.5 PPG with a .462 FG% and a .340 3PT% over his last 18 games.
Still, Wade acknowledges that it has been difficult at times to figure out how much he can – and should – do on the court, as he looks to pass the baton to some of his younger teammates.
“It’s a tough balance, man. I know I can’t do what I used to do. I know I can keep playing,” Wade told Charania. “… There are moments where I want to get involved, but my number may not be called so I stay out of the way. The competitor in you wants to go, but you also understand where you’re at. There are other guys that they have to get their game going, and coach has to make sure their number is called. I’m trying to enjoy this process. We’re fighting for the playoffs here late in my career, so it’s been amazing.”
As for his retirement decision, Wade appreciates that many people around him would like to see him keep playing, but is confident that he’s making the right call.
“A decision like that has to be on you. It has to be a you thing,” Wade said. “People want you to keep going for selfish reasons. No one knows what you’re dealing with. I’ve always had support from people around me. Even now, you hear from people. Everyone wanting you to keep playing. But you have to understand yourself, understand your body.”