While stepping away from the NBA after 16 years has Dwyane Wade feeling some mixed emotions, he couldn’t be more thankful for the support from his family — including the newest member, daughter Kaavia James.
Two days after playing his final game with the Miami Heat in Brooklyn, New York, the athlete opened up Friday on Good Morning America about how special it was to have Kaavia and her mom, Wade’s wife Gabrielle Union, at his last home game in Miami on Tuesday.
“I’ve been wanting a daughter my whole life,” said Wade, 37, who is also dad to three sons — Xavier Zechariah, 5, Zion Malachi Airamis, 11, and Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 17 — and guardian to nephew Dahveon Morris, 17. (Zaire was also on hand at Tuesday’s game.)
“God didn’t give her to us until this moment, until this time, and it just was so fitting that I had an opportunity, in my career, with me carrying her. So if you see any pictures … ” Wade continued of Kaavia, adding proudly of an adorable video showing the father-daughter duo sporting matching red outfits, “We dressed alike!”
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Dwyane Wade Borrows Andy Cohen’s “Swag” in Sweet Plane Photo with Daughter Kaavia: “I Got You!”
“I’m just filled with so much gratitude. I’m filled with so much love and so much appreciation for the people who have supported me through this process,” Wade said.
Kaavia and Union, 46, enjoyed the game courtside alongside pals Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. The stylish infant rocked a variety of bow headbands and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for the momentous occasion.
At one point, Wade stumbled backward mid-game into the laps of the Cravings: Hungry for More author, 33, and “All of Me” singer, 40 — and the perfectly timed photo has since gone viral, prompting laughs from those involved.
In the image, Teigen’s face was scrunched as she leaned backward while Legend, who was holding a drink, had more of a grimace. Teigen later joked on Twitter that the image was like “a renaissance painting” after the Miami Herald tweeted at her to ask if she wanted a copy.
Legend, Teigen, Union and baby Kaavia watched the NBA star shoot 30 points in 34 minutes, helping lead the Heat to a 122 to 99 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Our hero. Bigger Than Basketball,” Union captioned an Instagram video that featured Wade showing his young daughter a wall of photos displaying his career highs.
Teigen also shared footage from the game, including an emotional message from Wade as he addressed the crowd.
“It’s meant everything,” Wade said of his career with the Heat after the game, according to ESPN. “To be able to come here and be embraced, to find a home, to be able to grow. I think that’s the one thing. When I was on the court early on and Stan [Van Gundy] let me grow, as a player, to whether it was mistakes I made in life to whatever it was, this city has allowed me to grow.”
Dwyane Wade Finishes Final Basketball Game of His Career Drenched in Water: “What a Ending”
For his final game, against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, Wade put up a triple-double, logging 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — and thanks to his playful teammates, he went out with quite a splash!
While the now-retired basketball star was giving a post-game interview in Brooklyn, several of his fellow Heat stars came up behind him and tossed full Red Bull cups of what appeared to be water on the athlete.
Wade shared a photo of the celebratory moment to Instagram, captioning the post, “What a ending … #onelastdance.”
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