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In episode 2 of DeMar DeRozan’s digital series “Dinners with DeMar,” he had the honor of having former NBA champion and Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade. Unbeknownst to many, the two prolific wingmen have a close relationship dating back to their many battles in the Eastern Conference when Deebo played for the Toronto Raptors while Wade repped the Miami Heat.

A nightmare to play against

When DeRozan entered the league out of USC in 2009, Wade had already established himself as a primetime player, winning an NBA title and a Finals MVP trophy in 2006. DeMar shared how much trouble Wade caused for his defenders.

“Man, DWade when I came in the league was by far the hardest person to guard. Me being a two and coming in the Eastern Conference, I had to see him so many times early in my career,” Deebo shared.

In 2016, DeRozan and Wade finally faced off on the big stage, battling one another in the second round of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

“Having the opportunity to play him in the playoffs in 2016, the way he played the game was so incredible. He was so physical, so fast. He had a drive to him that showed why he’s one of the best to ever do it. It’s beyond an honor,” Deebo said.

Relationship beyond basketball

As their conversation on “Dinners with DeMar” showed, the two have a relationship beyond the basketball court. Whether it was shared experiences in All-Star Games or being on other sides of the floor in on-court match-ups, DeRozan and Wade have a mutual respect for one another.

“For me to be able to have a friendship with him means so much more to me. I can ask him so many questions for advice on late-career decisions. I remember talking to him when I came to Chicago and about what it’s like to play for that city. So to have the opportunity to pass somebody I admire, played in All-Star games with, competed against, have a great relationship with is definitely cool. It means a lot,” DeRozan added.