It’s never known when the urge will come but the gag order is at its finality. The white noise/narrative of one’s departure was over blown. This captain didn’t leave the once thought sinking ship. He trusted, believed, and had a quiet faith that the ship would once again right itself; and as it sails towards the promised land of two thousand and seventeen, the time that the mountain will once again be climbed, the captain, Dwyane Wade will stand victorious.
The true narrative of the franchise’s resurrection was not supposed to travel down this path. Despite missing the playoffs last season, the Miami Heat had a resolve not seen in the normal lottery teams. Victims of the unfortunate, the Heat understood that had the team remained in good health, the landscape of the recent Eastern Conference Playoffs would have been altered. It’s a resolve that’s been handed down from the venerable Pat Riley, the Godfather who oversees the franchise with an iron fist. A resolve that was spread through the locker room by the likes of Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Udonis Haslem and Wade himself. A resolve that has seen the franchise win 3 NBA championships in a nine year span.
True captains simply don’t abandon the ship or leave perceived danger. They stay the course, trust their judgement and the system that has never failed them. Wade opted out of a guaranteed $16 million to re-up for $20 million. A raise of $4 million may seem a lot for the everyday person but consider the subject here. Throughout his NBA career, Wade has earned over $116 million; in the scale of things, $4 million wasn’t a lot nor worth the perceived trouble and impasse. The narrative of Wade wanting more money and the Heat lowballing their franchise player was false, media fabricated and spun in all kinds of negative directions. This was never about money, figures; this was all about respect.
The respect that a former 3 time NBA champion wanted and the respect that the franchise that helped create and guide him deserved. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Wade stated the following:
”Sitting down with Nick, sitting down with Micky and having conversations with them that I’ve never had, that was big for me,” Wade said. ”I’ve never had a business conversation with one of them. … They got to show me how much they really wanted me to be here, how important it was for them that I continue to wear one jersey.”
Respect is earned, not given and the Heat displayed that to one of their favorite sons in Wade. When dealing with Wade, a true leader and captain there was no smiling faces and hidden agendas. From owner Micky Arison, to Team President Pat Riley, alongside of head coach Erik Spoesltra and at the door step of Wade, respect throughout the Miami Heat organization is indeed contagious. Yes players come and go but legacies live forever and it is that legacy that will one day see Wade’s name along side of Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway in the rafters of American Airlines Arena.
”Money-wise, I thought I did the best I could for myself and my family, and I also had the Heat in mind,” Wade said. ”Obviously it’s all about putting yourself in position to be able to compete. I love this organization.”