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If your Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony happened in two days, would you find yourself a bundle of nerves? If soon-to-be Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade felt that way, he didn’t show it Thursday. His choice to spend the morning on the golf course probably helped.

Wade played most of the Mohegan Sun Golf Club course before rain interrupted his round. His group included his father plus some fellow basketball legends: Pau Gasol, Spencer Haywood, and Nancy Lieberman. They didn’t talk much about hoops, actually. Most of the conversation had to do with topics like yardage to a pin and how a putt might break. They laughed a lot and they did actually make a few birdie putts.

Gasol, Wade Haywood Lieberman on the golf courseThey played a modified scramble in this informal tournament, and one phrase we heard invoked a lot was “teamwork.” Everybody got a chance to contribute and they often drew a parallel between the day’s activities and the team sport that had brought them together. All have won championships alongside Hall of Fame teammates. In the video interview that serves as the centerpiece of this post, Wade acknowledges their role in his success.

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In the interview, I also asked him about a rival who will enter the Hall alongside him: Dirk Nowitzki. Each earned Finals MVP honors once in his career: Wade in 2006 when his Miami Heat team beat Nowitzki’s Dallas Mavericks and Dirk when he carried Mavs to victory over Wade’s Heat squad in 2011. One could make the case that they brought out the best in each other. Now they’ll forever share their game’s most prestigious individual honor.

Wade and I also chatted about my friend Nancy Lieberman, who made more than one putt for his group Thursday. Wade and Lieberman seem to share the same inclusive outlook on life.

The 2023 Enshrinement happens Saturday evening, televised by NBA TV.

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