Sports

Video: Barack Obama Pays Tribute to Dwyane Wade—'You Did Us Proud'

Barack Obama has paid tribute to the soon-to-be-retired Dwyane Wade for completing “one of the greatest careers in NBA history”.

The NBA veteran played in front of the fans in Miami for the final time on Tuesday night, scoring 30 points in 34 minutes as the Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 122-99.

The win wasn’t enough to keep the Heat’s playoffs hopes alive but it ensured Wade gave the fans who packed the AmericanAirlines Arena the most fitting of goodbyes.

A keen basketball fan, Obama was among those congratulating Wade for his glittering 16-year career.

 “Congratulations on a great run,” the former President said in a video message for the 37-year-old, which the Heat posted on their Twitter account.

“I know what you’re going through, because saying goodbye to a career that you love is never easy. I’ve been there.

“In my case, though, I didn’t really have a choice. My knees were shot so I had to give up basketball forever.”

Wade won three NBA titles during his spell in South Beach. However, while he was undisputed star of the team alongside Shaquille O’Neal for the first of those triumphs, the back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 came saw Wade share the limelight with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Obama praised his fellow Chicagoan for the altruism he showed during the Big Three era and for the resilience he demonstrated in coming back from serious injuries. Wade suffered severe knee shoulder injuries throughout his career.

“Whenever you got knocked down, you always showed us how to get back up. You showed some Chicago spirit. You did us proud.”

Obama's video message was not the only tribute to Wade's career. The pregame ceremony featured a video of Wade's best moments with the Heat, which was narrated by former teammates including LeBron and Shaquille O'Neal.

A 13-time All-Star during his career, Wade had fleeting spells with the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers over the last three years but his name will forever be linked with the Heat.

From the moment he was drafted with the number five overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft, the Chicago native went on to become the star of the team and then the face of the franchise as a whole.

Adored by the Heat fans, Wade returned to what Heat president Pat Riley jokingly described as “Wade County” for a final swansong last year.

"It's meant everything," Wade said after the game, as per ESPN.

"To be able to come here and be embraced, to find a home, to be able to grow. I think that's the one thing.

"I hope they are proud of what they have helped me become. This city means everything to me. It's forever, forever, forever going to be my home."

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat Dwyane Wade, #3 of the Miami Heat waves to the crowd during his final career regular season home game at American Airlines Arena against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 9 in Miami, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty Images

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