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Dwyane Wade’s All-Star chapter closes, but Heat guard not done yet

There was an air of finality Sunday at the NBA All-Star Game, when Dwyane Wade walked off the court at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

But the Miami Heat icon also wanted to make it clear that the appearance was not the end, either to work on the court or his work beyond.

“Whatever my legacy is and whatever it will become, it’s what I’ve been building since anybody ever heard my name or before that,” he said, with attention now turned to the resumption of the Heat’s schedule Thursday against the Philadelphia 76ers. “So at the end of the day, when it’s over, I think that the respect that I’ve been getting from fans around the world, fans in arenas, the players that I’m playing against, that’s the thing that makes me fill my heart with joy. Because I just want a respect for what I bring to the table, and that’s in both on the court and off the court. And I’ve been getting that.

“So I’ve just got to keep it going. I’m 37 years old, I’m a young man in life. I’ve got a long life ahead of me, and I’m destined to do other things that’s great. So see what that is.”

All the while, doing it for a coach who still believes there is more to give at the moment.

“I thought we’d be in a better spot right now, so I figured these games would have incredible meaning, which they do right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’re trying to climb up. But if you want to play against the best teams in the league, you need some Hall of Fame talents. And Dwyane is that. Even at his age. He is somebody that’s special, that’s different.

“So did I anticipate he would be playing this many minutes? I don’t know. But definitely somebody that was going to have big-time fingerprints on the direction of this team. It’s with his play. Obviously it’s with his leadership. This team needs a lot of it. And particularly the young guys need his Hall-of-Fame mentorship. And he’s doing all of it, the trifecta right now.”

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