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Dwyane Wade gets personal in new self-titled photographic memoir

Dwyane Wade’s nearly 300-page memoir is filled with over 200 never-before-seen photos from his personal and professional life.

Dwyane Wade’s favorite photo in his new self-titled photographic memoir is one of his childhood home on 59th Street and Prairie Avenue in Chicago.

Readers will find it on page 25 in the chapter titled, “First Quarter.”

It’s fitting that’s the photo Wade chose to begin with because, in his words, the rest of his story doesn’t happen without that complex on the South Side.

“I stopped on that photo a few days ago for about five minutes,” Wade said. “All I could visualize was the little Dwyane inside of that house.”

Depending on what day he’s asked, the answer to which is his favorite photo in the nearly 300-page book filled with more than 200 never-before-seen photos will vary. What never wavers is his appreciation for where his journey began.

When Wade set out to publish this memoir three years ago, his approach was first to select which photos he would use from an archive of two million that his personal photographer, Bob Metelus, had taken throughout his career. Wade and his team sat at a round table and selected what each person felt was an amazing photo. Once his team did that, Wade went through everyone’s choices and selected the photos that stirred a connection.

From there, Wade wrote the stories that accompanied each image.

“It was almost impossible to do,” Wade said. “I’m sure if I had to do another book today, some of these photos wouldn’t make it.”

Overall, Wade wanted the book to be about all of the aspects that make up his life. His 16-year NBA career encompasses most of the book, including his disappointing return to Chicago. The lone season he spent with the Bulls is part of the book’s chapter titled “Second Quarter.”

In it, Wade details how personal the experience of signing with his hometown team was.

This writing process was therapeutic for Wade, and the pages recounting moments with the Bulls were no exception. Nothing was off the table, including his memorable admonishment of his teammates after blowing a double-digit lead against Atlanta in 2017.

The stress and pressures of proving his worthiness on the court all poured out in one moment, which earned him his first career benching. Hindsight is 20/20, and many of the pages in Wade’s book hold words that express that sentiment in one way or another.

“I don’t know how much people outside of Chicago really know about that story,” Wade said. “Later on, as I was looking at it, I did appreciate that [Rajon] Rondo spoke from a different leadership perspective.”

Metelus began shooting for Wade in 2008 before it was commonplace for athletes to have personal photographers and have ownership over their content. When he started shooting Wade, Metelus felt the career pressure dissipate.

It’s hard to believe shooting an NBA champion, and four-time All-Star at that point in his career would relieve pressure. After shooting weddings and dealing with the expectation of perfection from brides, Wade was nothing.

Metelus found success by blending in with his surroundings, seeing but never being seen. Partaking in some of the NBA’s biggest stars’ private moments became second nature, and Metelus navigated that by staying in his lane.

Wade started joking with Metelus, saying it’s easy to forget he’s in the room. Some rooms, Metelus had to fake his way into, including the 2011 Paris fashion week. After the Heat’s 2011 season ended with a loss to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals, Wade wanted to get out of town. Paris was the move, but Metelus didn’t have any credentials to cover the biggest fashion event of the year.

“My mentor always told me to walk like you know where you’re going, and people won’t bother you,” Metelus said. “If I was on the road, at an event, I would go where I wasn’t supposed to, but I would move with a purpose.”

It wasn’t always as simple as walking into a room with Wade and immediately being granted premier access. In the beginning, Metelus said it took Wade saying on different occasions, “That’s my guy.”

Once he did, there was typically no issue, and eventually, he no longer had to say it. Still, Metelus remembers the first time he heard Wade describe him that way. Wade was working out with LeBron James when Metelus walked in. It was early in their working relationship, and Wade shouted those three words his way.

It gave Metelus the confidence to walk into rooms carrying that energy moving forward, and it has led to some of Wade’s most iconic moments in his personal and professional life being caught on film. One of those moments was at the 2016 ESPYs when Wade shared the stage with James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul to give a compelling address following the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.

Metelus’ photo of Wade, James, Anthony and Paul staring out at the audience, their solemn faces mirrored back, is one of the most impactful of the entire book.

“I remember my body was shaking,” Wade said. “It wasn’t shaking because I was nervous. I was having an out-of-body experience because of how powerful that moment was.”

Wade’s book has seven chapters: “Pregame,” “First Quarter,” “Second Quarter,” “Halftime,” “Third Quarter,” “Fourth Quarter” and “Postgame.”

Each one highlights a different theme in Wade’s life, with basketball being the common thread that ties it all together. His life as a son, father and husband is the other theme woven throughout.

This book encapsulates every milestone moment that’s contributed to who Wade is, starting with 59th and Prairie.

“Most of my stories in here are about other people along my journey,” Wade said. “The people who have helped me elevate to this place in life.”