It hasn't been easy. Their first year together was hell. Last year Wade was dealing with injuries as Miami overcame deficits in its last three series. This year the injury to Wade has been more diminishing than ever. He finds himself being held to a standard that is -- for the moment, at least -- beyond his reach, and every player can relate to his frustration and anxiety.
It was amazing in 2006 when Wade burst through the Mavericks to sweep the last four games, averaging 34.7 points in his first NBA Finals. Another kind of drama is playing itself out seven years later, and it is more noble. Wade may fail to live up to his own standards, and yet he may be able to squeeze out another championship. For him, relevancy has never been so agonizing.