CHICAGO, IL—After 13 seasons and three NBA Championships, Dwyane Wade is leaving the Miami Heat and heading to his home town of Chicago.
Wade was the last breed of players that seemed as though he would play his entire career with one franchise. That is until contact negotiations began to deteriorate between Wade and the Miami Heat organization.
It was surprising that a deal was unable to get done after the confidence and praise team President Pat Riley gave his star player.
As reported by USA Today Sports, Riley said of Wade, “Compensation to a player is not just a way to get paid and to live your life. Compensation to a player is about recognition and respect and place. We know where he belongs…He’s a lifer. What he’s done in this city over the last 13 years is irreplaceable, and so we’re going to do the right thing.”
Wade seemed to feel the same way as he told reporters, “I don’t want to be on the market at all.”
Apparently, something went askew in the negotiations that made Wade choose to move cities. Maybe it was Riley’s decision to pay a premium to keep the likes of Hassan Whiteside for nearly $25 million a season. Maybe it was Riley’s pursuit of signing Kevin Durant. Or maybe Wade felt that he had given everything that he could give to the city of Miami and it was time to go home.
Whatever it was, Dwyane Wade is now a Chicago Bull. Saturday, July 9 was the first time that Wade spoke with reporters after his decision.
As reported by Fox Sports, Wade said in a press conference at his basketball camp in Miami, “There’s going to be a lot of stuff that’s said about me and Pat. First and foremost, I love Pat Riley. He’s been someone who has been a figurehead in my life since I got drafted here at 21. But at the same time, he has a job to do. He has a different hat to wear. That hat sometimes is not to be my best friend. That hat is to be the president of the organization, and to be a businessman. And it sucks. Because you love somebody so well, you guys love each other, but the business side comes out.”
Wade’s deal with the Bulls is reportedly worth $47 million over the span of two seasons.