Dwyane Wade played his final NBA game last year, and the Miami Heat wasted no time celebrating their franchise’s best player. Wade played all but two seasons of this 16-year career in Miami, winning three NBA championships in the process. That his number 3 would be retired was a given, but the team went the extra mile with a three-day L3GACY celebration that ended with a screening of a brand-new documentary.
D. Wade: Life Unexpected debuted at the American Airlines Arena yesterday before playing on ESPN that evening. The film is a collection of “hundreds of hours of never-before-seen home movies, exclusive video diaries, and all-access verité footage shot over the last decade.” It’s been a long time coming, in other words, and it touches on subjects dear to basketball fans — “The Decision” gets plenty of attention — and more universal themes.
“This deeply personal documentary will give fans a never-before-seen look not only at the behind-the-scenes of my 16-year career in the NBA, but will peel back the curtain on my personal life – the highs, the lows and everything in between – showing how I created my own path to get to where I am today,” Wade said in a statement.
Miami journalist Ryan Yousefi saw the film early and told fans that they should expect to like Wade, the most beloved figure in Miami sports since Dan Marino, even more after watching.
Once they got a chance to see it, pretty much everyone else agreed. The reactions to the film shared online have been overwhelmingly positive, with many viewers praising Wade’s dedication not just to the game of basketball but to fatherhood as well.
There were also those who trumpeted the way the film is an intimate portrayal of Wade’s rise from a childhood with a drug-addicted mom to NBA immortality.
Plenty of others just seemed to really enjoy the movie.
But the best reactions to the film might have been from students at Richards High School in Chicago, Wade’s alma mater, who got to watch it early and were treated to a surprise appearance from the man himself.
Any documentary that can get a bunch of high schoolers paying rapt attention at a school assembly must be worth seeing, and the good news is that even if you weren’t able to watch it yesterday you can stream the doc online for both cable and ESPN+ subscribers.
This article was originally published on