Sep 7, 2012

‘The Hoff’ Surprises NBA Champ Dwyane Wade

It’s not every day “The Hoff” drops in to “Good Afternoon America” for a surprise visit. But lucky guest, Dwyane Wade, sure seemed shocked when he did just that.

Wade appeared on the show to discuss the release of his new book, “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball,” which focuses on how he juggles being a single parent raising 10- and 5-year-old sons with his professional basketball career as a player for the Miami Heat.

Hosts Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer diverted Wade’s attention with a game called “What’s the Word?” where the hosts showed him random pictures and Wade was supposed to say the first word that came to mind once he saw them.

It was all fun and games when they began with a picture of trendy sunglasses Wade wore to a post-game press conference in June. He had no hesitation with his word in response to the image: “Swag.”

Up next was an image of David Hasselhoff, which prompted Wade to immediately start talking into his watch, mimicking The Hoff’s iconic character on “Knight Rider.”

“See that’s why I like wearing watches. Because when I think about him, I think about watches,” Wade said.

Little did Wade know Hasselhoff was secretly waiting on Skype to surprise Wade. Hasselhoff heard Wade was a huge fan of his Michael Knight character growing up. In Wade’s book, Wade said watching “Knight Rider” helped him get through some of the darkest times of his childhood.

“That was me and my grandma’s time together when I was growing up,” he said. “And it kind of was my time away from the streets and all the negative things that was going around. When “Knight Rider” came on, me and my grandma were right in front of the TV.”

The Hoff was humbled to hear how much the show meant to Wade as a kid, and offered him a pretty nice deal.

“So dude, if you send me a copy of your book, I’ll send you a copy of my ‘Knight Rider’ license plate,” Hasselhoff said.

Wade laughed, and without missing a beat asked if he can have the car, too.

“It makes me feel real humbled – because the theme of ‘Knight Rider,’ one thing was to make a difference. And Dwyane Wade is making is a difference. It’s a very honest book, and he’s an honest guy,” said Hasselhoff. “It’s hard to find that now in show business and in sports, you know, real honesty. That’s what life’s about – to be honest with your kids, and to be honest with you and to keep them straight.”

Wade was just as humbled by Hasselhoff’s comments, having a hard time wrapping his brain around the fact he was speaking with “Michael Knight.” At first, all he could muster was, “Oh man, that is awesome.”

Once he gathered his thoughts, he explained how much “Knight Rider” and The Hoff really did shape his childhood aspirations.

“I just appreciate the character that he played. It got me through a lot. At that time, I was a huge fan and it gave me a vision and a dream of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become when I was a kid – and I appreciate that,” Wade said. “Everybody knows how impressionable we are to kids. We are role models, and as a role model I just wanted to thank you.”