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Dwyane Wade on MJ, LeBron, D-Rose and Dream Team debate

Dwyane Wade is about giving back.

Maybe that’s why a hundred or so Chicago school children greeted the Miami Heat star on Thursday with adoring screams at the kickoff event for his fifth annual “Wade’s World Foundation” at the Fitness Formula Clubs in Union Station.

The Chicago native who grew up in Robbins and starred at Richards High School is the driving force behind a program that inspires kids to read, discourages bullying and tries to curb violence.

“I understand where I come from,” Wade said. “I was one of those at-risk kids. So, what I try to do is help kids with every facet of life. Every year I try to come back to Chicago and say, ‘What’s the need?’ Is it violence? Literacy? Reading? I just pick different needs in the community and try to support it. That’s what our foundation has tried to do for the five years we’ve been here. I never forget where I’ve come from and always try to put something back into the community.”

Wade intently watched as two local schools competed for the championship of a summer reading program.

He was to visit a few local elementary schools on Friday and, later, to play host for a celebrity bowling event. On Saturday, there is a youth summit at the UIC Forum, then a 7 p.m. “Chicago has Talent” show (open to the public) at the Chicago Theater. The festivities culminate with a gospel mass Sunday at his mom’s church on the South Side.

Wade did find time to answer a few pressing basketball questions:

MJ OR LBJ?

Wade grew up watching, idolizing Michael Jordan. He’s played against and with LeBron James. Who better to settle the great debate?

“Michael is the greatest player I’ve ever seen play. I think LeBron is in that conversation of one day becoming. It’s all speculation in a sense. He has a long way to go. He knows that. He has one championship, Michael has six! There’s a lot to say about that.

“LeBron is a dominant player. ... But, Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time.”

1992 DREAM TEAM VS. 2012 OLYMPIC TEAM*

*But the three “Ds”—D-Rose, D-Howard and D-Wade—are available to play with the 2012 Olympic team?

“That’s a different conversation,” Wade said laughing. “It’s something we would have loved to see, but it’s something we can’t.

“I think the 2012 team was awesome, but I always look at it and say, in ‘92 they had 11 of the 12 best players in the game at that time, except for Isiah Thomas who was the only one who wasn’t on that team. If you took 11 of our 12 best players and put them on our team today, then you have more of an argument in a sense of teams.

“I think the ‘92 team would be dominant today. I don’t know they would have won by 50 as much but they would still be dominant. That team was amazing.”

D-ROSE’s INJURY?

When asked about another explosive Chicago guard coming back from a knee injury, Wade had this to say:

“He can come back. The biggest thing is during the rehab process you have to work hard to get back to where you were at, but as long as you put the work in and believe you can get back there, it’s been proven that you can.”



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