Dwyane Wade knows a little something about earning Miami's respect.
The three-time champion wasn't drafted to "save the franchise," but expectations certainly changed after the Heat's first title in 2006. Throw in the two that he won in the early 2010s and there's an argument that Tua Tagovailoa should strive to emulate Wade rather than Dan Marino.
But greatness can easily be hindered if you get caught up in the glitz and glamour of Miami. In a recent conversation with ESPN's Cameron Wolfe, Wade advised 22-year-old quarterback to focus on winning first rather than what the city has to offer.
"Put your head down and go to work. The city of Miami is going to be there, the nightlife is going to be there, the endorsements and all of those things -- get your money but don't let those things take away from your main goal and purpose," Wade told ESPN. "... Football right now for you in that city is the most important thing. Everything else will come as you win"
The "franchise savior" anticipation have been projected on Tagovailoa for quite some time. "Tank for Tua" became a popular mantra among Fins fans as their favorite team made several trades during the 2019 season in an effort to compile draft stock . The resonant anguish felt by watching 21 quarterbacks over the past two decades seemed to dissipate with the selection of the Alabama prospect with the Dolphins' No. 5 pick.
Tagovailoa, to his credit, doesn't appear fazed. He already knows this is Marino's town and, for now, nothing he does will change that. Foregoing his collegiate number of 13 in favor of 1 – a number yet to be worn by a Dolphins quarterback – seemingly alludes to him wanting to forge his own path.
"I'm honored that the fans think so highly of me. But I haven't done anything yet," Tagovailoa said in his postdraft presser. "What I did in college can't translate to the NFL. It's a clean slate. I've got to go out there and earn my respect and earn the trust from my teammates."
Wanting to be your man, however, doesn't mean Tagovailoa shouldn't heed the advice of the legends. That's why only two things matter if he wants to truly wants to be remembered.
"How you put yourself in that conversation is doing something great, something that people have never seen before, and obviously winning," Wade said.
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