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Dwyane Wade stands with his wife Gabrielle Union after a game in Miami

Dwyane Wade Thanks Wife Gabrielle Union, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant at Emotional Jersey Retirement

Gettyimages | Sarah Stier
By Floyd Smith III

Dwyane Wade's number 3 jersey was raised into the rafters at America Airlines Arena in Miami on Saturday. During his 16-year NBA career, Dwyane spent 13 years with the Miami Heat collecting 13 all-star selections and becoming Miami's All-Time leading scorer, helping bring three championships to the city in his tenure.

Dwayne was monumental in bringing Miami it's first NBA championship in 2006 and he won the NBA finals MVP award for his performance in the finals where he averaged over 34 points per game against the Dallas Mavericks.

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The 2006 NBA Championship banner hangs at the top of American Airlines Arena in Miami
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heat_championship_banners.jpg

On Saturday the Miami Heat celebrated Wade's career with a jersey retirement ceremony that was equally intense and emotional. With appearances by LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Alonzo Mourning and more there was an assortment of NBA talent in the house to celebrate Wade's career, in which Wade was known for his selflessness.

Also in attendance was Dwyane Wade's high school and college coaches, his family, including his mother, father, his four children and nephew and a plethora of others who contributed along the way, including his wife Gabrielle Union.

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade on a red carpet premiere with their daugher Kaavia
Gettyimages | Gregg DeGuire

In an emotional speech Wade thanked everyone from his mother and father to the ball boys and floor sweepers of the Miami Heat arena, but here's what he had to say to thank Gabrielle Union.

"Thank you for coming into my life and showing me that life can be different. Through you, I learned that life is what you make it. Thank you for all the experiences we shared. Thank you for those Twitter rants when I didn't get the calls I deserved. Thanks for calling me out when I wasn't on top of my game, and I'm not just talking about basketball, I'm speaking about life. Thank you for loving me and pushing me out of my comfort zone and showing me that I'm worthy of so much more. Thank you my love, for showing me that I'm worthy of you," Wade said.

dwyane wade stands with his wife, two sons, two daughters, and nephew after a game at American Airlines Arena
Gettyimages | Michael Reaves

Dwyane went on to thank many others including Kobe Bryant, who he labeled as one of his biggest inspirations. The two went against each other for nearly a decade during Bryant's tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, the two playing the same position became extremely close over the years despite the brawls the two had when competing against one another. Wade on Kobe:

"Kobe said the most important thing was to try and inspire others, so that they can be great at whatever they choose to do. I hope that I've inspired all of you. Thank you for making me a part of your legacy, please know that you are a huge part of mine," Wade said.

Dwyane Wades jersey goes up in the rafters of American Airlines Arena
Gettyimages | Michael Reaves

Dwyane Wade's jersey was then hung up in American Airlines Arena where it'll stand as a reminder of the shooting guards long an illustrious career, where he scored over 23,000 points, grabbed over 4,000 rebounds, and dished over 5,000 assists. But Dwyane will not only be remembered for his basketball achievements but also his contributions to the community of Miami where he was involved in countless organizations and community groups, including the Wade's World Foundation which promotes health, education, and social skills for at-risk children.

We're going to miss Dwyane Wade on the court but we are thankful for the entertainment and inspiration he provided us throughout his career.

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