Sep 7, 2012

Dwyane Wade opens up about life off the court

(CBS News) Miami Heat co-captain Dwyane Wade — known to fans as D-Wade or Flash — has racked up an impressive list of athletic accomplishments throughout his career. He’s an eight-time NBA All-Star, led the Heat to win the NBA Finals in 2006 and 2012, and helped the U.S. Men’s basketball team win gold in the 2008 Olympics.

But this week, Wade is sharing a saga that unfolded off the court. The all-star claims he’s happiest as the the most valuable parent to his two sons and is sharing the story of his custody battle for them in his new book, “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball.” In the forthcoming book, Wade candidly confronts the issues surrounding the courtroom battle with his ex-wife and shares details of his childhood on Chicago’s South Side.

Wade joined “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King on Wednesday to talk about the new book, the hype surrounding teammate LeBron James, and life in the Wade household.

He told King that “being a father is my greatest gift … it’s my biggest challenge in life and also my greatest joy.” He said he wrote a book about his experience with divorce and as a dad because when he went through it he was “kind of in the dark” and wanted to “share my personal experiences and how I came to this point where this became the most important thing in my life.”

While Wade endured an extremely public divorce battle, he maintains that it was important for him not to fight back at his ex-wife, for the sake of his sons.

“It was always important to me to never speak ill of their mother … it would have made me feel better, but you take yourself out of the equation … it was about them … I didn’t want to be the one to point fingers.”

The NBA player also said he’s gearing up for another season with the Miami Heat after having knee surgery during the off season.

He told Gayle King that he, teammate Lebron James, and the rest of the team has stepped up after intially failing to respond well to all the “haters” of the Miami Heat.

“I thought the first year, we didn’t handle it well, we took on a villain role … this year we came back with a fresh mind, with fresh energy and we really enjoyed the season we had a lot of fun.”

Wade has also been open about his relationship with actress Gabrielle Union and event told Gayle King “I wouldn’t be with her if I didn’t see her as a future Mrs. Wade … when the time is right, the time is right.”