MIAMI (CBSMiami) – NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry recalls when another legend first told him about Dwyane Wade.READ MORE: Missing Florida Girl Montana Breseman Has Been Found
“I remember Oscar Robertson coming up to me and asking if I had seen this kid from Marquette,” explained Barry. “I said ‘no, who?’ He said ‘Dwyane Wade. This kid can really play.’”
From the moment Dwyane Wade set foot in the NBA, other greats saw his sizzle; that he was relentless, fearless, and sometimes reckless.
Former teammate Gary Payton recalls that, “He was one of them guys who kept falling to the floor. I told him ‘that floor ain’t gonna move.’”
Wade kept getting up and blew by defenders so quickly that Shaquille O’Neal nicknamed him ‘Flash.’
Just three years into his NBA career, Wade carried Shaq and a team of wily veterans to the Heat’s first NBA championship. A superstar was born.
Now, 16 seasons and three NBA titles later, Wade has been elevated to basketball legend, added to the All-Star game as an add-on.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he told Wade, “This is for the fans. They love you and want to see you out there.”
Wade told CBS4’s Jim Berry that he had a hard time processing the unique opportunity to enjoy the ride during his final NBA season.
“I didn’t envision this one”, he said.
Wade’s All-Star weekend had plenty of moments that caught him off guard, such as a roast that turned into a tribute.
The following day, Wade bumped into his basketball idol, Michael Jordan, who gave Wade a ringing endorsement.
“He’s had an unbelievable career,” Jordan said. “I’m very proud of him. I’m sure that he will not be forgotten.”
WATCH: Dwyane’s Chat With His Childhood Idol Michael Jordan
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The next generation of stars agree.
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers says, “Anyone who has done it as long and as well as he has deserves respect.”
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal says Wade is, “part of the reason I wear number three. Everything I wanted to be in basketball, D-Wade is it. So when we exchanged jerseys, I let him know.”
Wade’s face also popped up during a video at an NBA legends brunch.
The stars who preceded him in the NBA talked of being even more impressed with Wade off the court.
Grant Hill called Wade, “a great ambassador, and great character guy.”
“That stays with you,” said NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson. “Character is behavior shown over a long period of time.”
WATCH: D-Wade Talks About His Final NBA Season
Meanwhile, LeBron James relished his final chance to have Wade as an All-Star teammate.
“From sharing father advice, marriage advice…the bond between me and D-Wade is really bigger than basketball,” said James.
Wade considers LeBron family, but his real family was along for the final All-Star ride, proud that the player who was walking among basketball kings never lost his common touch.
“He’s still the same Dwyane,” said Jolinda Wade, Dwyane’s mom. “He never stopped being the humble young man we knew growing up. “
Wade’s 17-year-old son Zaire tagged along to share the memories of his dad’s final All-Star Game.
He often wore a sweatshirt with a picture of his dad as a kid.MORE NEWS: Miami Police Release Footage Of Missing California Tourist Angela Morrisey
“That kid came a long way,” says Wade. “And I hope that my son can take what he has seen and raise the bar even higher.”