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Campaigning for Wade's Commitment

This certainly can't hurt. Wade-Star1

With Dwyane Wade shuttling from courtroom to courtroom between Chicago and Miami these days to deal with lawsuits and a divorce, the Heat guard could certainly use a bit of love these days.

And he's getting plenty of it now. Especially now that the Miami Heat officially launched its excessive campaign to retain Wade's services when he becomes a free agent in July.

The Heat produced a website, www.wewantwade.com,  as phase one of a marketing blitz that soon will extend to other massive flirtations designed to bring fans on board for this major recruiting pitch.

Wade said Thursday he was flattered by the team's out-of-character move to display such public affection. Keep in mind that it's usually not Pat Riley's style to go out of his way to publicize his players and coaches for league awards.

But Wade is clearly an exception. It was that way last season, when the team launched its MV3 campaign to push Wade for league MVP honors. And it's the case now, with Wade set to opt out of his contract and become one of the most sought-after free agents in NBA history on July 1.

That gives the Heat the next six weeks to show Wade in every way how much he's loved, needed, wanted and cared for here before other NBA cities such as Wade's hometown of Chicago can jump in and flirt with Miami's main man.

And here's why Wade is looking forward to this summer so much: He's never been in this position before. Yes, money and fame has a lot to do with this process. But just the simple aspect of recruiting is something Wade hasn't experiences before at a substantial level.

Wade's low test scores kept him from being highly recruited coming out of high school. He had three official campus visits. Marquette. Southern Illinois. DePaul. Even during the NBA Draft, Wade wasn't wooed as openly as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh.

So this has to be a sweet situation for Wade, who repeatedly has said he would like to stay in Miami. 

The website and public display of affection from Pat Riley and Micky Arison and all the fans in South Florida - the website temporarily crashed Thursday when it reached between 200-300 hits per second - will go a long way.

Wade-Face But it doesn't take billboards and banners to impress Wade.

It'll take Bosh, Boozer or the postseason beast known as Amare Stoudemire in a Heat uniform.

Wade knows how Riley and Arison feel about him. He wants to see what they're able to put around him in terms of championship talent.

It's clear the Heat has the money, the mission and the public mantra to make Wade a happy man.

But it will take more than a Heisman-like campaign to earn Wade's long-term commitment.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)




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