Williams: LeBron and Wade’s friendship transcends basketball

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade met for the final time Monday night when the Lakers beat the Heat.

May I have this dance? A simple question, but one that requires an affirmative in order to proceed.

The NBA basketball community asked, and on Sunday, Sept. 16 of this year, Dwyane Wade obliged and offered one last dance for all of those who loved him from day one.

Another day one of Wade’s is his best friend, and brother, LeBron James.

The two met prior to the 2003 NBA Draft, and according to James, Wade has always been a genuinely “stand up guy.”

“I knew that [referring to Wade’s character], when we met at pre-draft in 2003,” James said. “But sometimes, you just need to see it again, and he showed it again.”

That again, that James was referring to during last night’s postgame press conference after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 108-105 — is when Wade welcomed James with opened arms to Miami and gave him the proverbial keys to a city he put back on the map.

It’s rare that two dominant players share a bond this close. While Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were viewed as close friends and on-court adversaries — the two were never spotted sharing a banana boat nor openly expressing their admiration for each other to the tune of having their children call the other uncle.

What makes the trek to Miami so special for their relationship goes back to what James often referred this time as his ‘college years’. A four-year coming-of-age journey from boyhood to manhood, and Wade helped cultivate this with love, when he easily could have met it with disdain.

And the product? Some of the most beautiful basketball one could possibly witness. The chemistry these two had on the court together was poetry in motion.

The ability to know exactly what the other was doing at any given moment made these years fun to watch as a basketball lover. While the proclamation of more than seven championships did not happen, winning two in four years is not too shabby.

What this relationship allowed was for other players to not feel ashamed of wanting to play with someone they admired.

The old school mentality that preceded them did not matter to neither James or Wade, and they opened doors and revolutionized the sport where big 3’s are the norm, as well as the expectation.

They did it their way. And it ends in storybook fashion.

Los Angeles, The Staples Center, Heat down three with seconds remaining, Wade with the ball and James guarding him — a perfect moment of big brother versus little brother for the night’s bragging rights — and little brother prevails.

I don’t know this as fact, but I’m sure Wade wouldn’t have wanted it any other way — ending result and all. It’s still his party. It’s still his moment, and while he and James will continue their brotherhood off the court — Wade will continue to give us this last dance.