The biggest name in free agency, Kevin Durant, rocked the world a few days ago by announcing he was leaving his current team and heading to another. Now just 2 days later, The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade has done the same, announcing his decision to return to his hometown of Chicago.
Much like his close friend, Lebron James who made a big decision to head back to Cleveland to try to win a Championship for his home city, Dwyane Wade is now heading back to Chicago to play with the Bulls. It wasn’t too long ago that Miami thought Wade might head back to Chicago but he decided to stay in Miami and eventually brought them 2 more Championships. Well now that, that relationship is over he has decided to part ways.
The Chicago Bulls will enter next season with new faces to this prestigious franchise. Some old, some young, but either way you see it, it will be an exciting year for them. The Bulls already have a young All-Star by the name of Jimmy Butler since they got rid of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. They now picked up Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to add to that backcourt. It was confirmed when the Miami Herald reported the deal was worth $47.5 Million for two years. This all of course depends on if the Bulls can make some trades with other teams to free up cap space to bring Wade in.
Wade also released a statement stating: “I look back with Pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together.”
There are a lot of speculation as to why Wade really left. Was it for the money or was it for the respect. Wade took a pay cut to bring in Lebron and Bosh and bring that city championships, but still has not been rewarded for that. Some say it was the bad blood between Wade and Pat Riley that eventually pushed Wade out of Miami. The Heat had a option to trade Josh Roberts and he contract in order to give Wade the money he wanted, but they were reluctant to give him up plus a 1st rd draft pick and possibly Justise Winslow.
Wade gave Miami 13 years of his Hall of Fame Career but will now try to bring that to an end in the same building that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen built their legacy. Wade was able to reach an agreement with the Bulls after he met with 3 teams in one day and one was the Heat.
“This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family,” Wade wrote in a letter to Miami, released to The Associated Press.
The Heat sat down with Wade on Monday in New York while trying to keep him in the 305, that same day he took meetings with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Denver Nuggets. No one really knows if he even spoke with the Bulls that same day, but what is clear about all of this is, whenever he did speak with the Bulls, they obviously offered him something he couldn’t refuse. This will be the 3rd time the Bulls tried to land their hometown hero. There was a lot of chatter about Dwyane Wade rejoing Lebron in Cleveland, but after number crunching, it was impossible to free up that much money.
“Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player,” Wade wrote in the letter. “My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.”
Wade also stated: “We call it Heat Nation, just around the world, just by the way they embraced me. This little shy kid from Chicago came from Milwaukee to Miami and really grew up, and we did some special things together,” he said. “I didn’t do it by myself. I had some unbelievable teammates along the way.”
Wade was loved in Miami and has been since the Dan Marino era. No player meant so much to a franchise in Miami like Wade did. The Heats GM tweeted out:
“Thank you Dwyane Wade for a great 13 yrs!” He also tweeted… “You’ve had a tremendous impact on our community and our organization. We wish you all the best.”
The Miami Heat was trying to make moves in the off season when they resigned Hassan Whiteside to a 4 year $98 Million contract. They also made a strong run at Kevin Durant who ended up in Golden State, but they just couldn’t keep their star player who averaged 19 points last season. The Bulls have plenty of time to figure out how to make it work, and made two deals on Wednesday night to clear the cap space that will be necessary to sign Wade when the NBA’s offseason moratorium on player movement ends Thursday.
“Never thought I’d see the day DWade wasn’t in Miami. Crazy,” Brooklyn Nets guard Shane Larkin, who played his college basketball at the University of Miami, wrote on Twitter.
Despite what people say was bad blood between Wade and Riley, Pat Riley did text ESPN’s Dan Le Batard this about Dwyane Wade’s decision to leave his franchise:
“SADDDDDDD!!!! SO saddddddd!” Riley’s text said. “I will never forget the sixth game in Dallas in 2006. DW rebounded the ball, and threw it to the heavens and the Heat universe was perfect for that moment. Our first world championship. Our universe is not perfect today. It will be faught with anger, judgment, blame instead of THANK YOU!!! Ten years ago. Ten years older. Ten years wiser. Ten years changed. All of us.
“Dwyane had a choice, and he made it. He went home,” Riley’s text continued. “Bad, bad summer for us. But there will be another 10 years, and it will be someone or something else in 2026. Move on with no blood or tears. Just thanks. I truly loved Dwyane, but families grow, change and get on with another life. He will always be a part of us. ALWAYS! And no more bruises and enough fighting. Let’s just fly above it if we can and never forget. I feel his pain and pride for what pushed him over the ledge. Been there. Forever, for always, your coach I will be. FOREVER!”
So in a matter of two days we got to see Kevin Durant shock the NBA with his decision to leave Oklahoma City and now Dwyane Wade is leaving Miami. Durant clearly left for the chance at a ring and Wade clearly left for more money. Wade already has 3 rings to wear in Chicago, but how will these two legacies end, good or bad? Championship or Bust?