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From LeBron to Steph to CP3, NBA's biggest stars talk about Dwyane Wade's legacy

Dwyane Wade on going out with a triple-double.

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade’s “One Last Dance” final NBA season was filled with jersey swaps, video tributes, autograph sessions and countless memorable moments.

Along the way, everyone from NBA commissioner Adam Silver to opposing coaches and star players expressed what they’ll remember most from Wade’s stellar 16-year career.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward, former Heat teammate LeBron James:

“He’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game. We’re going to miss Flash. We’re going to miss him in this league — that’s for sure. Seeing him be able to go off on his own terms, say when he’s done and nobody forced him out or did anything of that nature. He’s able to just hang it up when he was ready to hang it up and be at peace with it also — that’s real sweet.”

Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul:

"D-Wade, I mean he is a brother to me. Everything, from the injury he had, we all went to Chicago and worked out with him, to my wedding, his wedding, birth of our kids. We say it all the time, but we're not just NBA friends. There's a lot of guys in this league that are just teammates or NBA friends. But we all are a lot closer than that."

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant:

“He’s done so much for the game. He’s such an amazing player and person. I’ve been watching him since middle school, and this is one crazy way to go out with an ending like [Wade’s miraculous 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 126-125 stunner over the Warriors on Feb. 27].”

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry:

“There’s something special about what he did [Feb. 27]. I’d much rather see him jumping on the scorer’s table when we’re not playing against him. What he’s done for this city is amazing and I know how much Miami loves him.”

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:

“He certainly is an iconic figure as far as NBA basketball goes. It’s not just because the way he played — he played hard, he played to win, he had a ferocious attitude on the court — but it was matched by a wonderful smile and a great understanding of world and community off the court. And that’s what made him so special — a coveted teammate, somebody that everybody enjoyed playing with that cared about more than just basketball.”

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki:

“After '06, we had some frosty times, but I think that's way behind us. I always say he pushed me to become the player in '11 to ultimately win. There was some things said after the '06 Finals, and both sides in '11. There were some times when we didn't speak much, but like I said, I always watched from afar and he's one of the best two-guards to ever play the game."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver:

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“Dwyane, this season has embodied what a great champion and ambassador of the game you are. From the way fans at every arena celebrated you to the players of every generation swapped jerseys, it’s always incredible to see how the young fans and players look up to you. On behalf of the NBA family, thank you. I look forward to seeing you in [the Hall of Fame].”

Philadelphia 76ers forward, former Bulls teammate and fellow Marquette grad Jimmy Butler from Wade’s home finale:

“That was special to see my brother get as much love as he deserves. He’s one of the greatest to play this game. I’m just so happy he gets to go out on his terms. He’s happy, he’s healthy and he had the whole city behind him. He had at least one person on our bench behind him. I’m just so happy to be able to witness that one more time.”

Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter:

“It was great to see our last time going at it. It’s been fun. He’s earned all the accolades and he’s going out like a Hall of Famer.”

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George:

“What D-Wade has been in this league is just one of the best performers, most creative players in our era right now. His creativity with the Euro-step, with up-and-unders, I think he’s one of the best minds in basketball.”

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr:

“He’s had a lot of incredible moments and I’m sure this moment was up there for him. He was amazing [Feb. 27]. He’s a Hall of Famer for a reason.”

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green:

“It’s exciting what he’s doing. There’s so many guys that you see limp out at that age, but he’s still good. Each generation of people is getting a chance to see him play as well as he is.”

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal:

“He’s part of the reason that I wear No. 3. For the first time, I told him that [during the Jan. 4 jersey swap]. I’ve never told him that in all the years that I have played against him. It means a lot to me to be able to have his jersey because he has three championships, he’s one of the best two guards to ever play and I’m happy that I was able to compete against him for seven years.”

Boston Celtics forward/center Al Horford:

“He’s a winner. That’s what I’m going to remember about him. How competitive he is. Just how he imposed his will on games, taking over on the defensive end, on the offensive end. That’s something that I’ve always admired about him.”

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker:

“I have the utmost respect for him. He’s someone that I looked up to as an idol since I was 8 years old. He’s done so much to impact the game. I was 10 when he won his first championship with the Heat, and now I get to play with him. It’s surreal.”

Los Angeles Clippers coach and fellow Marquette grad Doc Rivers:

“Second-best player in Marquette history,” he joked. “I have a lot with D-Wade because I’ve known him long before he got to the pros. I almost thought we had him in Orlando. He means a lot in a lot of ways. Off the floor, to me, is where he’s stood out more. It’s amazing. As good as he’s been as a player, and he’s been a Hall of Fame [player]. He just sets such a great example of how to connect yourself off the floor. I would like to say it’s the Marquette education, but I don’t think that’s it. I just think it’s who he is.”

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons from Wade’s home finale:

“He’s a legend. So for me just watching him grow up meant a lot to be able to compete against him, especially in his final home game. That was an amazing experience for me.”

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tobias Harris from Wade’s home finale:

“It was an amazing atmosphere for him. D-Wade had an amazing career. He’s a Hall of Famer. He’s the best two-guard to play the game.”

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Oklahoma City Thunder and former Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan:

“An incredible winner, an incredible competitor. I was happy to see him finish out his career where it started. He certainly had done an enormous amount with individual accolades, but also is a championship player. And he’s been a championship player.”

Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center and former teammate Tristan Thompson:

“I always tell him he has no reason to retire because he’s putting up great numbers this year. At the end of the day, he’s given so much to the game, and the time I’ve spent with him, just seeing his hard work and effort every game, everyday being a professional, putting his best foot forward — who cares what the outcome was, whether he was coming off the bench or starting — just leave it out there on the line. That shows the sign of a true champion.”

Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center and former teammate Channing Frye:

“He’s so crafty, everyone knows he’s going left and he still goes left and then you think just because he hobbles around the court that he can’t block shots and suddenly he has five at the end of the game. Always been a winner. I watched him play at Marquette shockingly and was like, ‘Who is this dude?’ From where he was then until now is absolutely amazing and that’s a testament to him and what he put into his game.”

Dallas Mavericks guard and Miami native Tim Hardaway Jr.:

“Just the all-out competitive spirit he had. They made that run in the Finals when he was young. It was just like a sigh of relief for this organization and for the city. And me just being part of Dade County, growing up here, seeing him flourish since Day 1, it’s really an honor to be out there to share the same floor as him when I have the opportunity to. I will always remember him as Flash. It’s just the memories he brought to this city, this franchise.”

New York Knicks coach and former Heat assistant David Fizdale:

“I’ve learned more from him than he has from me. He’s one of those guys that, when he says he’s your friend, he’s going to be there for you, and he’s been there for me every step of the way. … He’s one of the greatest guards to play this game.”

Memphis Grizzlies guard Avery Bradley, who had hard-fought series with Wade as a member of the Celtics:

“He’s always been one of my favorite players. I never told him that, of course, going up against him. He’s always been in my top three favorite players in the league. I just admire his style of play on both ends of the floor. He’s just an exciting player, a playmaker. He does everything. Wish I got a chance to play with him and learn from him. He definitely brought a lot of great memories to [Miami], for sure. We’re going to miss him. The game’s going to miss him. Wish he could continue to play forever.”

Cleveland Cavaliers guard and South Florida native Brandon Knight:

“Definitely my favorite player growing up. That was the team I got to watch most, just being from here, they’re always on TV. Definitely one of my idols growing up. Some of the stuff he was doing at the time was just incredible, reminded me a lot of MJ. He’s definitely a family favorite in the Knight house.”

Washington Wizards forward and fellow Chicagoan Jabari Parker:

“D-Wade, he has a lot of fans here in Chicago. He had a great following his entire career. He just always represented us. Very gritty. Always diving on loose balls, always giving it his all and just playing with that kind of swagger and that edge that everybody from the city pretty much has.”

Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey:

“He’s one of the true greats in our league, has been. I’ll never forget I was in Seattle when we brought him in for his draft interview, and I told [SuperSonics executive] Rick Sund at the time, ‘This is the most intelligent, mature young man we brought in.’ Because at that time we were giving players tests, you know, look at the film, tell me what you see. And he nailed every situation in a mature way, almost like a coach. For a young man coming out of college at Marquette to do that was very impressive. He’s done nothing less than that throughout his career.”

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer:

“His athleticism, his anticipation — I don’t think anyone talks about the defensive side of the ball enough. When he dials it up defensively, it’s amazing some of the things he can do on the defensive end of the court, whether it be blocking shots, getting in passing lanes, getting steals. I’ve been on the wrong side of those steals too many times.”

Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier on the Jan. 10 jersey swap:

“I just never thought I would see this day, witness his ‘One Last Dance’ and actually play against him and stuff like that. It was mandatory I got his jersey. I wasn’t letting anyone else get it. We became good friends over the last couple years.”

New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry:

“I think the No. 1 thing that no one really talks about with him is how he was willing to take a step back and make that LeBron’s team. There’s a lot of star players that wouldn’t even consider doing that, and that shows me that winning is the most important thing for him and he’s willing to sacrifice his game for the betterment of the team and the franchise. You admire guys like that as a coach.”

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