One Last Dance in the Nola

Credit: Derick E. Hingle

On April 5, 2003, Dwyane Wade capped off a standout college career by leading the Marquette Golden Eagles to New Orleans to face the Kansas Jayhawks in the national semifinals in the Final Four. Wade finished with 19 points, in a 94-61 loss.

Almost 16 years later Wade played most likely his final basketball game in New Orleans – unless the teams somehow meet in the postseason NBA finals – and again scored 19 points, had six rebounds and two assists to help lead the (13-16) Miami Heat to a 102-96 victory over the (15-16) New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday evening at the Smoothie King Center.

Wade plays mostly off the bench for the Heat, but he is still productive and Sunday he proved it. It was almost like a going-away party for Wade in New Orleans.

Wade, who was drafted by the Heat fifth overall in the 2003 NBA Draft and helped lead the Heat to three NBA titles in 13 years, announced in September he was playing for the Heat for his final NBA season, his 16th overall. He also has played for his hometown team the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Many fans showed up at the Smoothie King Center repping their favorite Wade gear and holding Wade posters proudly throughout the arena. With seven minutes, and 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Wade checked in and received an enormous ovation from many hometown fans and Heat fans that were present. When Wade scored his first basket with about three minutes remaining in the first most of the crowd roared.

With so many fans showing support, Wade answered them. The Heat bench outscored the Pelicans bench 58 to 20. Wade played a huge part in that, scoring his 19 points in 23 minutes off the bench.

The Pelicans had a 41 percent field goal percentage and the Heat had 42, so bench points played a big part in the Heat victory. Wade finished as Miami’s seconding-leading scorer, at one point averaging a point a minute when he had played 17 minutes and scored 17 points. Wade shot 50 percent from the field and 3-point line (3-for-6) 100 percent from the free-throw line (4-for-4).

Wade’s final basket of the night was memorable. The Heat lead by six points and was in need of one more clutch basket to close out the game. Wade drove the lane and made a tear-drop shot over the shot-blocking big man, Anthony Davis.

As Wade walked off the court into the locker rooms for the final time in New Orleans, the remaining fans chanted loudly, “D-Wade, D-Wade, D-Wade.”

Chris Taylor, sophomore at  St. John the Baptist High School STEM Magnet Program, and member of the New Orleans Junior Journalism Program (JRNOLA), and it originally appeared on JRNOLA’s site.

JRNOLA was officially formed in 2017 to change the face of journalism, addressing the underrepresentation of women and people of color in professional media. JRNOLA empowers high school students by positioning them as credentialed members of the media, teaching journalism through live event reporting. Our students aren’t just learning about journalism; they ARE journalists.

Learn more at

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Our fundraising drive through GoFundMe has progressed well enough for us to sustain most of the magazine operations into the next month. As of June 1st, we're at $1400, but we’ve decided to extend our deadline to June 15th and make $3500 our new goal.

We’re so grateful to our friends, our families, our neighbors, and especially our readers for chipping in, sharing, and donating to the cause of local progressive media. Your support has lifted us up so much and will most assuredly not be lost or forgotten.

If you care about local independent progressive media in an era where multi-millionaires such as John Georges are monopolizing our local press, then please donate any amount you can to make our operation a success. We can do this! Do not give up.

What else can you do if you’ve already donated and can’t donate anymore? Share our content on Facebook and tell people about our fundraising operation. Call and email others who may be able to give. We believe in you because you believe in us and together we can ensure Big Easy Magazine becomes a progressive icon for New Orleans and an inspiration for the expansion of progressive media around the world.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Time Left to Donate:

Share this Article

Add Some Progress to Your Inbox
Big Easy Magazine sends weekly emails to keep you informed about what’s going on in our community and beyond.
We respect your privacy.