- In 2020, a video went viral of Dwyane Wade battling his son Zaire in a 1-on-1 game.
- Wade said it was a teaching moment to show no one will take it easy on Zaire, not even his dad.
- Zaire now plays in the G League, and Wade said he hopes Zaire gives it his all to make the NBA.
Dwyane Wade has never gone easy on his son when it comes to basketball.
This was made evident in a video that popped up late in 2020 in which Wade battled Zaire, his oldest son, in a game of one-on-one.
In the video — which went viral and has been viewed nearly 2 million times on Twitter — Wade posts up Zaire, using his significant size advantage for easy baskets. He mocks Zaire for not being tall enough or strong enough to challenge him. Meanwhile, Zaire trash-talks his father for posting up — a play not often used in the NBA these days — and scores a few tough baskets of his own.
—Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 28, 2020
While speaking to Insider to promote his new photo memoir, "Dwyane," Wade said that particular one-on-one battle served as a moment to teach his son that nobody will go easy on him in basketball.
"It wasn't about me beating him because I knew I could beat him," Wade said. "It was more so about the lesson of 'Hey, it ain't going to be easy. I'm your dad, and I am not going to take it easy on you at all. And I love. I love you. Like, I will do anything for you. And I'm going to be hard on you, too, when it comes to this game of basketball. Because I have to show you that trying to take someone's job is not an easy thing to do.'"
Zaire is currently playing in the NBA G League for the Salt Lake City Stars. He had previously played high school basketball at Sierra Canyon, an elite basketball program where LeBron James' son also plays.
Wade said while he has tried to prepare Zaire for the path to the NBA, he is also aware that some of it is in his son's own hands.
"He's on a different journey, and I don't want to put the pressures on him to do anything but go out here every day and try to put his best foot forward on trying to create his dream and make history and become reality like I did mine," Wade said. "And I'm just trying to help him in that opportunity. But it comes a point where it is all on him from the standpoint of the work he puts in and how much he learns and grows in his game."
While James is now starting to play against his son's high school teammates and has said he wants to play with his son in the NBA, Wade said he doesn't think waiting for Zaire, who is 19, to make the NBA was ever a reality for him.
Asked who would win in a matchup of their primes, Wade's competitiveness came out, as it did in the video.
"There hasn't been a lot of battles like that over the years because he was younger and I was, you know — it wasn't close.
"But now that I can't move and I can't jump, it gives a little bit more of an advantage to a younger, quicker guy. But what I do have to my advantage ... I have strength, I have smarts, I played the game for a long time."
Wade said he hopes Zaire finds success and happiness pursuing an NBA career if that's what he wants.
"My hope is that he puts his all into it, and eventually, whatever happens, he gets the best out of his ability every day. And that's all I care about."