Wade: “‘Flash' No Longer Exists”

Dwyane Wade is not going to be defined by Shaquille O'Neal any more

Dwyane Wade is now The Artist Formerly Known As Flash.

With luck, he'll change his name to an unpronounceable symble and wear nothing but purple, ruffles, and platform heels, just to keep us from having to talk about (our beloved) LeBron James non-stop for another decade.

"The Artist formally known as "FLASH" no longer exists," Wade wrote on Twitter Sunday. "This is a NEW CHAPTER in my life. A NEW ERA has begun..."

A few minutes later, he suggested the new leaf was the result of a little soul-searching: "The content of my character has changed. I'm a different kind of man, father, an athlete. Evolution is necessary for growth...change is inevitable."

At practice Monday, Wade further explained his reasons for dumping his super hero alter ego.

""Its not me no more. I just want people to respect me for who i am and not a character," he said, while clearing up the change is no dispect to his larger-than-life former teammate Shaquille O'Neal.

Change is also well-timed to coincide with the Heat's Tuesday season opener against the Celtics, who Shaq plays for now.

As many Heat fans might recall, O'Neal, who gave Wade his "Flash" nickname and then turned into a bit of a disruption in the Miami locker room after the team won the 2006 NBA title and then began to make Wade the team's focal point.

When asked about possibly having to explain his decision to Shaq in person during the game, Wade turned playful.

"It's a different jersey, different number, different weight class for the big fella," D-Wade said.

ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin is up in arms, suggesting it's not up to an athelete to dictate his nickname or the useage thereof. That's generally true, but "Flash" really wasn't used all that much, and no one's really going to miss it. Here's guessing it will fade away, just like Shaq.

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