It’s very seldom that men in the media publicly discuss their insecurities but three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade has defied the odds, that is after roughly seven years of opting out of that particular limelight.
On the new edition of ESPN’s Body Issue, Dwyane Wade is captured in nothing other than his birthday suit and a prop that he is all too familiar with: a basketball. He opens up about various topics including the insecurities surrounding his belly button and feet, the steps he took to overcome them, the amount of work invested in being fit and the major keys to success as an NBA player.
On why he declined seven previous offers to cover magazine:
“I was just never comfortable until about four years ago, when I started feeling comfortable with my body overall. As you go through life, you get more comfortable with yourself. It’s like everything else with life—you change, you grow. People might think it’s simple, but for me it was hard to even feel comfortable walking around naked when it’s just me and my wife. So the thought of doing it at a photo shoot in front of people [laughs]—it was like, ‘No way ever.’”
On why he accepted the offer this go round:
“I’m at the point in my life where I’m 34 years old and understand where I am in life,” Wade said. “I know how I’m going. I’m at this point where I’m doing things I never thought I would, trying things that I never thought I would, that I always said no to. I’m trying not to be that guy. I’m trying to be more open to living life and enjoying it and everything that comes with it. So they caught me at the right moment.”
On the result of his physical fitness in NBA:
“I’d say I probably felt like I was 28 this season. There were times when I did certain things and was like, ‘Man! That was like young me!’…….I never envisioned that I would be playing this long. I think I always told myself that my body would tell me, ‘Hey, I gave you enough, it’s time.’ So whenever my body tells me that, I’ll listen to it and then I’ll make that decision. But nah, I’m not there yet. I’ve got some good years left.”
Dwyane Wade is one of 19 athletes who agreed to pose nude for this year’s issue. The journey of overcoming his insecurities reminds us that he too is human and his courage to discuss that while posing nude does not go unnoticed.
ESPN’s 2016 Body Issue hits newsstands on July 8.
Written By: Sweenie Saint-Vil