Saturday, September 29, 2012

HEATcast: Book Review of A Father First by Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade's first book, A Father First, provides Miami HEAT fans with a lot of insight into the best player in franchise history. Where does his determination to succeed come from and what makes him tick? The Miami Heat Index and the Queen of HEAT News reveal and review on the latest HEATcast.

Podcast Details
Podcasters: Miami Heat Index, Pheana Winfield the Queen of HEAT News
Recorded: September 28, 2012 at 7:30 PM ET
Duration: 1:30:42
How to Listen: Play the audio embedded below, download the mp3 or check it out at itunes

Companion Reading
The podcast discussed the themes and issues from the book listed below.

Wade spends a lot of time in the book explaining his willingness to make things work and his determination to find a way. It may be his greatest strength, but it may also be his greatest weakness.
  • How did this impact his relationship with his mother?
  • How did this impact his relationship with his wife?
  • Did that character trait help him take a backseat to LeBron James last season or was it just the result of battling injuries?
  • Does that character trait help him play through injuries, for better or worse (e.g. Game 3 vs. the Pacers)?
  • Will that character trait keep him in the game well past the time he should retire?

What Makes D. Wade Tick?
Wade provides a decent amount of insight in the book about what drives him as a player and a person. Examples of some of these stories are listed below:
  • The 2008 Olympics
  • His experience with coach Tom Crean at Marquette University teaching him how to analyze the game from a strategic perspective
  • His experience with his high school coach Jack Fitzgerald teaching him to believe in team and not believe in self

Some quotes from the book on what makes Wade go are listed below.
“part of what drives me - my will - comes from the fact that I’ve always had to fly under the radar to prove myself”
“blocking out the turmoil allows me to play harder and better under pressure... To do that, I’ve had to learn not to allow hurt, anger, fear, or negativity mess with my head, but instead to transform the internal pressure cooker into the competitive engine that drives me”
“...without joy, the game just becomes a slugfest powered by testosterone and ego. Without heart, teams can become little more than a set of stats and basketball runs the risk of not really mattering.”

Relationships with Men and Women
For someone who comes across as such an independent person, Wade paints an image of himself as a very dependent person in the book. He depended on his sister Tragil to take care of him as a young kid, then his future wife Siohvaughn and now he seems to depend heavily on his manager Lisa Joseph. He also seems to have a lot of "father figure" relationships with his high school coaches, college coach Tom Crean and his agent Henry Thomas.

NBA Stories
Some of the best NBA stories from the book:
  • Wade says Carmelo Anthony is the coolest player in the NBA, “Once you’ve met Melo in person, you can’t not like him.”
  • His first time meeting Chris Bosh and LeBron James
  • When the HEAT were down 0-1 in the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals, Stan Van Gundy told him, "So that's our problem, you think you're a fucking star now."

What Didn't Make the Book: Siohvaughn Drama
What caused him to move in with Siohvaughn Wade's mother? As the Queen of HEAT News said, the book talks around it but never deals with it directly.

There's plenty in the book about Siohvaughn, but a lot of the drama from their marriage was left out of the book. Siohvaughn gave insight into some of the drama in an interview she did for the show Real Talk With Kietta. Some highlights from the interview on topics that did make the book were discussed on the podcast and they're listed below.
  • Siohvaughn said she's had to live off her savings since the divorce. Where did a full-time, stay-at-home mom get savings from without a job? Well, Wade said in the book that "a large sum of money had been moved out of our accounts" by Siohvaughn.
  • She accused Wade of disciplining his oldest son with "Mr. Fist" and punching him repeatedly in the chest. Wade disputes the accusation that he punched his son 55 times in the chest in the book.
  • She said Wade cursed out his oldest son over the phone for crying and told him to "Man the fuck up." Afterwards, she said her son told her, "He wanted to die." As a result, Wade was investigated by Family Services. In the book, Wade said an investigation by Children's Protective Services resulted in him having to take parenting classes.

There's a lot more that didn't make the book and didn't make the write up for this podcast. Listen, enjoy and maybe Wade will publish a sequel to A Father First that tells the whole story.

This podcast was inspired by E.J. Fischer.

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