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Dwyane Wade Says LeBron Is His New Favorite Opponent

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – One thing that Dwyane Wade has never shied away from is a challenge.  It's the attitude that has remained with him from blacktops of Chicago through his days at Marquette University to his 11 years with the Miami Heat.

Remember back to Wade's first years in the NBA when his slogan was "fall down seven times, stand up eight." The concept of always challenging oneself has kept Wade as one of the top competitors in the NBA.

During the past four years Wade and the Heat have been the team that most others have aspired to beat.

Four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and two NBA Championships will do that.

Things are different now, though.  With LeBron James' departure, the Heat are no longer considered the "team to beat" in the Eastern Conference.

Pat Riley has still put together a very formidable lineup that should have plenty of success in the upcoming season, but things will be much more challenging for the Heat now that the best player in the world has moved on.

That being the case, Wade is once again embracing the idea that the best way to improve is to go up against the finest competition the league has to offer.

While Wade had yet to speak publicly about James' decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers until his youth camp in Chicago last week.

Fielding questions from the youngsters in the camp, Wade was asked who is his favorite player to go up against in the NBA and his answer was more than a little interesting.

Chicago Bears' blog Windy City Gridiron was there to hear Wade's response (via Hot Hot Hoops).

"Well, it used to be Kobe Bryant…the second best of all time," Wade admitted. "Now, I have a new favorite player to play against…my former teammate, LeBron James."

It's impressive that Wade is so quick to welcome the challenge of facing his former running mate.

Whenever the schedule comes out for the upcoming NBA season, the dates where the Heat play the Cavaliers are sure to be circled by most fans.



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