For Dwyane Wade’s final NBA game, where else would his so-called Banana Boat Crew members be but on hand to see it?
Wade ended his 16-year career with a bang Wednesday night, producing his fifth career triple-double as he amassed 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Miami Heat’s 113-94 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Sitting courtside to watch Wade in his final NBA game were his longtime friends and fellow NBA stars LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.
Of course they would be there, James said during the game. James was shut down for several of the Lakers’ final games and Paul’s Houston Rockets played their final regular-season game Tuesday night. Anthony did not sign with another NBA team after his release from the Chicago Bulls this season after he was traded by the Rockets.
“Listen, we all started this journey together,” James told Fox Sports Southeast. “Obviously CP came into the league a couple years after us, but we have a brotherhood that is just so much more than basketball. CP played last night, we had our last regular-season game last night, and Melo is right here in New York, so we kind of made the plan and made the decision to come up here.”
The friends often travel together during the summer and picked up the Banana Boat Crew moniker after photos of them riding in one circulated on social media in 2016.
James, who won two NBA titles with Wade in Miami, two of the three Wade won altogether, was asked about favorite memories of his friendship with Wade. James said a good answer to that would take a while.
“I mean, we’d be here all night talking. We’d be here all night talking about the best memories, or the most fond memories I have of D-Wade.
“The plane rides, the bus rides, the hotels when we get to the city we’d go to the hotel room and just chop it up, the dinners we had on the road, everything we did was always genuine. (There was) always love, and we always wanted the best for one another, no matter the good or the bad.
“I will say the most founding part was when we lost (to Dallas in 2011). Because, without ‘11, there’s no (2013), no (2012 championship) banners hanging up in (AmericanAirlines Arena). That’s what made us. That’s what made our team.
“It’s been an unbelievable journey for my guy, and I’m happy to be here for the last little part of the road before the train comes to a stop.”
—Field Level Media