Kevin Garnett stands up for Dean Wade after Paul Pierce tells Cavs forward to change his name

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Dean Wade recently had a breakout performance for the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading to an entertaining exchange between Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett about whether he should change his familiar sounding name.

“Hey, if your name D-Wade, you got to change your name,” Pierce said.

Garnett didn’t hesitate with his reply.

“‘Nah…I’m the white D-Wade,'” Garnett said. “‘Get your a– outta here.'”

Pierce came up with an interesting suggestion.

“You gotta change to J-Wade or somethin’,” said Pierce.

Garnett then added a message to Wade.

“Hey homeboy, don’t change your name,” Garnett said. “You D-Wade. … His name is his name.”

With the nickname “D-Wade” already made legendary by Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, it can be easy to see where some confusion may come from. But Dean Wade is making a name for himself, thanks to his scoring outburst in a Cavs win against the Boston Celtics.

He scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Cavs come back from 22 points down to shock the Celtics 105-104. He outscored Boston by himself in the period and got the final bucket on a putback dunk to end the Celtics’ 11-game winning streak, which is the longest in the NBA this season.

The performance caused TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal to come up with his own nickname for Dean Wade, calling him “Venom.” O’Neal was teammates with Dwyane Wade during part of his iconic time with the Miami Heat.

The three-time NBA champion also played part of one season for the Cavs and is considered one of the best players of his generation.

Dean Wade followed up his big game with just nine points playing more than 30 minutes in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Now in his fifth season with Cleveland, the undrafted product of Kansas State University is averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in 53 appearances this season. The 27-year-old has made a career-high 31 starts in part because of the multiple injuries the Cavs have faced.

Against the Celtics, they did not have star Donovan Mitchell because of a knee injury and lost Evan Mobley during the contest to an ankle injury. Mitchell is out at least one more game after getting a PRP injection, while Mobley reportedly is headed for another extended absence. He missed significant time earlier this season because of knee surgery.

Despite those past and present issues, the Cavs are 40-22 and in third place in the Eastern Conference entering their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. They likely could use another standout performance from Dean Wade to help the cause.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.