Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade have developed a strong relationship over the years. The two former NBA stars accomplished a lot during their careers. They went on to win multiple championships and other individual awards.
Wade and O’Neal decided to make a bet before the finals began, and one of them will have to give up a prestigious award.
Shaq and Dwyane Wade won a title in Miami
O’Neal and Wade had the opportunity to play together in Miami from 2004 to 2008. When O’Neal joined the Heat during the 2004-05 season, he had enjoyed an impressive career with the LA Lakers, winning three consecutive titles from 2000 to 2002. Wade was in his NBA season when O’Neal joined the Heat. The Heat became a top team in the league during the 2005-06 season.
That season the Heat made it to the NBA Finals, and Wade and O’Neal were two important pieces to the Heat’s title run. It was the first title in Heat history and O’Neal’s fourth overall title and Wade’s first. Wade was named the Finals MVP after putting an impressive performance together in the series averaging 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists. O’Neal averaged a double-double throughout the series with 13.7 points and 10.2 rebounds.
That was a memorable season for the Heat because, for so long, they tried to put a team together to compete for an NBA title and that finally came together in 2006. Wade was still a young player when he won his first title, and he helped turn the Heat into a powerhouse in the NBA. With O’Neal’s addition, who provided that championship experience, the Heat was able to get over that hump.
The Heat and Lakers making it back to the NBA Finals
The 2020 NBA Finals features two teams who have won multiple championships in the past. Miami last played in the finals in 2014 as they lost to the San Antonio Spurs. The Heat made it to four consecutive finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. Wade was a part of each team that played in the finals before the 2020 team made it there. He finished his career with three NBA titles and a Finals MVP award.
The Lakers last played in the finals in 2010 when they defeated the Boston Celtics in seven games. That was the Lakers’ second consecutive title as they defeated the Orlando Magic during the 2009 NBA Finals. The Lakers are back in the finals where they have dominated throughout their time in the league.
The bet that Shaq and Dwyane Wade made before the finals
O’Neal and Wade are two legends in the NBA. It won’t be long until Wade joins O’Neal in the Hall of Fame. O’Neal has two former teams playing in the finals with Wade having just one. Even though O’Neal won his last title with the Heat, he picked the Lakers to win it all, and of course, Wade chose the Heat to win the title.
The two decided to bet on who would win the title, which was not an ordinary bet. In a video via NBA TV, O’Neal and Wade talked about what they would bet for the NBA Finals. The two decided to put up their Finals MVP award. Wade only has one while O’Neal has three. The loser has to give up that prestigious award. If O’Neal were to lose the bet, he’d still have two Finals MVP awards, but if Wade loses, he’ll have to give up his only one. Now Wade and O’Neal are really good friends, and there’s no telling if they would keep the Finals MVP award for good or not. That’s something we’ll have to see when the finals are over.