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When NBA fans think of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, they, of course, think of the championships they won together on the Miami Heat. They also, though, think of their close friendship. However, despite being best friends, the two future Hall of Famers actually had an awkward first encounter back in 2003.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are close friends

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade entered the NBA together and ultimately became good friends while doing so. James was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft with the Cavaliers, while Wade was the No. 5 overall pick in that same draft with the Heat.

They then grew closer during LeBron James’ first stint in Cleveland, which led to James joining Wade on the Miami Heat in 2010. Their bond, though, then became even stronger while playing together in Miami. This is due to the two stars ultimately being there for each other during some tough times — one being when Wade went through an ugly custody battle with his ex-wife.

“(Having LeBron as his friend) definitely was huge for me when I was going through an ugly divorce that I went through, and an ugly custody battle with the kids, to know that, ‘Hey deal with what you gotta deal with; We got you on this end,’” Wade said to ESPN in 2017.

They also had to overcome the challenge of losing in the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks during their first season together.

“When we lost in the Finals in that first year, to be in those moments and be very vulnerable in those moments and not care that the other person see you in that space — that helps the relationship grow,” Wade said to ESPN.

The two future Hall of Famers have certainly seen each other in some great moments and some difficult ones. However, although they have developed a strong friendship, James and Wade had an awkward first encounter.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had an awkward first encounter

As mentioned above, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were in the same draft class together. This led to the two of them first crossing paths at a pre-draft event.

While at that event, Wade was in the training room, waiting in line for quite some time. He was then next to go when James came in and cut him in line.

“I’ve been there for a long time,” Wade said to James and Rachel Nichols of ESPN in 2017. “You could’ve came in and [been] like ‘Nah, let D. Wade go first. He been here longer.’ You just came in like, ‘I’m the No. 1 pick. This is my draft. Move out the way.’”

Wade said that moment was their first conversation ever. Despite it being awkward, though, it actually helped form their tight friendship.

“It was just like an instant kind of, you’ve got a connection with somebody,” Wade said to ESPN.

The two stars ultimately went from being those young athletes in 2003 to becoming NBA legends.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference


LeBron James Won 2 Championships With Dwyane Wade but Potentially Discussed Teaming up With Another Friend Instead