Marino or Wade? Who is the best South Florida athlete?

MIAMI (WSVN) - Dwyane Wade and Dan Marino are two South Florida sports legends, and both are paying tribute to each other.

When the Mount Rushmore of South Florida athletes is chiseled, Dan Marino and Dwyane Wade will be the first two faces.

“I’m glad to be mentioned with Dwyane Wade ’cause he’s such a special player and such a special person for the community,” Marino said.

“Dan Marino is Dan Marino,” Wade said. “I got a lot of work to do.”

Wade, in fact, put two Dolphins players ahead of himself.

“When I came here, obviously the first two, you know, Don Shula and Dan was the bar,” Wade said. “You have nothing but respect for what they’ve done and what they’ve created in this city and this state, so I appreciate both of them. They 1A and 1B.”

Thoughtful and considerate but outside the argument is Udonis Haslem.

Haslem, a longtime teammate of Wade and lifelong Miami resident, was asked which face is at the top of the list.

“Dwyane will always be my brother, but Dan’s always gonna be my childhood hero,” Haslem said.

Marino retired at the age of 38, while Wade retired at 37.

Marino played all of his 17 NFL seasons in Miami, and the Miami Dolphins erected a statue of him at Hard Rock Stadium, and the Miami Heat hung his football jersey in the rafters at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Although Wade left the Heat, he brought three NBA Championships to Miami.

“My childhood hero is Dan,” Haslem said. “I gotta go with my childhood hero.”

“It’s Marino and D-Wade,” Dolphins legend Jason Taylor said.

“I’m just a normal person out here in these streets,” Wade said. “I’m going to let everybody else do that.”

There is nothing to settle.

Each athlete deserves the rightful lead in South Florida sports history.

Nineteen years into his retirement, Marino has some wisdom for Wade.

“When you love what you do, and you’ve done it since you’ve been a little kid, life going forward is overrated ’cause you’re gonna miss it, you know. You’re really gonna miss it,” Marino said.

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