Knee Pain Nearly Caused Dwyane Wade to Retire in Big 3 Era: 'I Didn’t Want to Be in Pain Anymore'

Wade will retire following the 2018 season after three championships and 13 All-Star appearances. 
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Dwyane Wade won two championships and reached four NBA Finals with LeBron James in Miami, but knee injuries nearly destroyed his career at the height of the Heat's Big 3 era. 

"My knees were in so much pain," Wade told theLos Angeles Times' Dan Woike. "In my right knee, I had two sets of different bone bruises. I also had chondromalacia under the kneecap, which irritates the kneecap to the extent where it’s just more pain... It was a time where I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to be in pain anymore."

Wade was an All-Star in each of his four seasons with James. He played in 248 of Miami's 328 regular season games, and all 86 playoff games. But Wade's effectiveness waned in the final years of the James era. He averaged 25.5 points per game in his first year with James in 2010-11, but fell to 19 points per game in 2013-14. 

“It was playing with him more mentally than physically. And physically? He was hurting,” James told Woike. “You can just imagine what it was doing to his brain. The hurt was too much. The joy was gone. He wanted out. He thought about retiring.”

Wade announced 2018-19 will be his final season in September 2018. The Marquette product is averaging 14.1 points per game in his last year with Miami.