Dwyane Wade tells TMZ Sports he couldn't have won that championship in Miami without Shaquille O'Neal -- despite what Damian Lillard said in his dis track aimed at the Big Fella.
Don't get it twisted ... D-Wade means no disrespect to Lillard -- in fact, he really likes the rap battle going on between the two NBA superstars. But, he had to set the record straight.
Remember, Dame dropped a reference to Wade in his dis track this week ... saying:
"Said yourself that I'm a Tesla, no longer need Diesel gas. Kinda like the Cavs ain't really need Disel's ass. And even in Miami, won that [championship] on the strength of Flash."
So, when we saw Wade leaving the Topanga Mall in L.A., we had to ask if Lillard was telling the truth ... could you have won that ring WITHOUT Shaq?!
"No, not at that time," Wade said ... "I was young in the league trying to figure it out."
"I needed somebody like Shaq to help me ... gimme me the keys and let me drive the car. I appreciate him doing that."
Wade says he doesn't think the rap battle is personal ... it's just entertainment made by two talented rappers. He's clearly getting a kick out of it.
But, there's more in this clip ... we also spoke with Wade about his good friend Carmelo Anthony and if he thinks Melo still has what it takes to play in the NBA.
Wade goes to bat for Melo and even talks to us about possible landing spots for the 35-year-old.
The bad news ... Wade doesn't seem optimistic that Anthony will team up with his other close friend LeBron James because the Lakers roster is already filled up.
But, he clearly hopes Melo gets a shot so he can go out the right way ... like the legend that he is.
Oh, and if you're a sneaker head ... check out Wade's footwear. He's showing off his new Li-Ning collab with Rick Ross and they're pretty sick.