— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 12, 2018
Today is the nine-year anniversary of Dwyane Wade posterizing Anderson Varejao during a 2009 game between the Miami Heat and LeBron’s Cavs. Most of the videos you will see today of a young Flash knocking down the NBA version of Sideshow Bob with Reggie Miller yelling, “Welcome to your Kodak moment” will be the like the one above: Wade dribbling past half court, dunk and then replays.
To fully appreciate this dunk and historic moment, you have to watch the following video, which starts with Wade’s former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, sitting on the bench and watching Wade’s future teammate, LeBron James, miss a dunk attempt on Jermaine O’Neal. After the miss, Wade grabbed the ball, dribbled down the court, ignored a clapping Michael Beasley and then dunked on Varejao, who was probably hoping the trailing LeBron was going to either pick Wade’s pocket or go for a chase-down block. LeBron made the decision to just watch.
If it wasn’t embarrassing enough to get dunked on and have Wade do his best impersonation of Iverson stepping over Ty Lue on you during a live TNT broadcast (keep in mind this is before people were sharing videos on Twitter and the creator of House Of Highlights was just a 14-year old Heat fan), the GOAT, Michael Jordan (Yes, Michael Jordan!), was in attendance to witness the moment. Also worth noting is MJ was sitting next to Pat Riley, coach of the 90s Knicks and Heat that would always end up getting beaten by MJ in the playoffs.
Upset over the dunk, Varejao exchanged some words with Wade a few moments later and each was given a technical.
Wade ended the night with a game-high 36 points and the top play on Sportscenter but the Player Of The Game would go to LeBron, who scored 34 and the Cavs’ final eight points in the 111-104 victory.
Here’s what he had to say about Wade after the win.
“It’s like being out back with your big brother or little brother,” James said. “You don’t want him to get the upper edge. You don’t want them bragging and talking about it all week. Me and D-Wade are always competing. We’re friends and everything, but when we’re out on the court we’re fierce rivals.”
As for the dunk?
“It was great, probably top 10 all-time,” James said. “That was an unbelievable play by a great player.”
You also probably didn’t notice the sports ticker at the 42-second mark of the video that said: LeBron James says he will not speak about his possible free agency until after this season.
What happened after the season was his decision to take his talents to South Beach and join his “fierce rival” who murdered one of his centers on November 12th of 2009.