MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It was a very unique situation when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami back in the summer of 2010.
Three good friends who had been close since coming into the NBA together in 2003 were able to join forces and create one of the best teams the league has seen in the last quarter century.
Fast forward to the present where James has left his buddies behind in Miami and moved back to his hometown team in Ohio. Some would think a decision like that would put a strain on their friendship, but that's just not the case.
Wade could have an extra reason to be upset considering he opted out of the final two years of his contract in order to give the team more flexibility with re-signing James and bringing in additional pieces to help the Heat continue competing for championships.
That obviously didn't work out as planned. Wade signed a new two-year deal that will pay him much less then what he left on the table when he opted out, including over $10.5 million in guaranteed money.
Granted, the money saved by Miami has helped them build a solid roster around Wade and Bosh. Still though, it's doubtful anyone would fault Wade for being sour over LeBron's move back to Cleveland.
Wade said all the right things in the days immediately following James' departure from the Heat, but that is to be expected. Now we're learning that the friendship between Wade and James is extremely strong and thus has not been affected by LeBron returning to the Cavs.
James' longtime advisor and business partner, Maverick Carter, spoke with ESPN's Jason Whitlock and touched on how strong the bond between James and Wade really is.
"LeBron and D-Wade are totally fine, speak almost daily or every other day," said Carter. "They're totally fine. They'll be best friends for life. Their friendship goes beyond basketball and is bigger than basketball, so they'll be friends for life."
It's not surprising that Wade wouldn't let something like this come between he and his best bud. Since coming into the league and joining the Heat, fans in Miami have had a front row seat to all the aspects of why Wade is not only a great basketball player but also a great person who values honesty and integrity in a profession where those qualities are not the easiest to come by.
With James and Wade now on separate teams that should both finish towards the top of the Eastern Conference, it will be very interesting to see how they handle themselves should the Heat and Cavs ever meet in the playoffs.
With championships on the line, even the strongest of friendships can be tainted. Just ask Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, who were extremely close until they met in the 1988 NBA Finals. The best of friends became the worst of enemies.
Are James and Wade destined to walk down a similar path? Let's hope not.
for more features.