danwadeDan Wade saw it coming. As news broke last night that longtime Heat star Dwyane Wade was set to sign with Chicago, he knew his Twitter mentions were about to take a turn.

Why? Because Wade — a St. Paul resident, Director of Communications at Life Floor and a writer for the local baseball site Twins Daily — had the unfortunate (though sometimes hilarious) distinction of choosing the simple “@dwade” as his Twitter handle. He picked it back in February 2008, when he joined the social media site as a pretty early adopter — long before the explosion of tagging specific users in tweets by adding @ and their user name.

It make sense: first initial of his first name + last name. Easy.

“Having a short handle was key to actually getting conversations going,” Dan Wade said. “That’s all I was thinking of.”

Fast-forward a couple of years to when LeBron James made his decision to come to the Heat. That’s when Wade caught the first huge wave of people tagging him in tweets intended for Dwyane Wade — who joined Twitter in 2009 and goes by the nickname D-Wade (which is even his shortened Twitter screen name) but has his full name, @DwyaneWade, as his Twitter handle. Even Michelle Obama mistakenly tagged @dwade in a tweet during The Decision time, Dan Wade said.

And then fast-forward again to last night, when Wade stunned a lot of people — most of them Heat fans — by leaving the franchise he had starred for since 2003 to join the Bulls.

Even though Dwyane Wade has a verified account with more than 5 million followers while Dan Wade has an unverified account with a little less than 2,700 followers, heat-of-the-moment tweeters make assumptions.

Since then, Dan Wade has once again been caught in the fray. His personal favorite (at least the most printable favorite):

Others haven’t been quite as flattering. But Dan Wade is taking it all in stride. He said he lived in Chicago for parts of eight years has “some affection for” the Bulls but prefers the Wolves.

At least it’s been a peaceful coexistence. D-Wade the basketball player has never tried to poach the Twitter account of @dwade.

“Never heard from anyone on his team,” Dan Wade said. “Never tried to buy the account, never tried to have me kicked off it.”

And soon enough, the tweets will slow to a trickle … at least until Wade’s Chicago debut … and his eventual retirement … and his Hall of Fame enshrinement … and so on.

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