Time was needed to heal but the wound is still fresh. From the many down to the one the departure of Dwyane Wade has caused Heat faithful to have a range of emotions, some sad while others are angry. He himself once said that it’s about the name on the front of the jersey and not the back…..so we move on.
In what was called the “toughest summer” by team President Pat Riley the Miami Heat has moved on. Moved on from the player that called South Beach home for his first thirteen NBA seasons, the player that helped guide the franchise to its only three NBA Championships, the player that is often referred to as the third greatest shooting guard in the history of the NBA and the player who ironically wore the number 3.
Heatlifer is more than a catchy phrase, more than false comfort, Heatlifer is my being, my existence and having lived through the departure of franchise staple Alonzo Mourning, this too, shall pass.
Let not your heart be troubled Heat Nation for we will rise again. One franchise leader once said trust the plan, he is no more but who we trust still is.
In Riley I Trust!
So as we all look for someone to blame just remember the following. Perhaps the Heat wanted to move on from Wade, to force the present into the future. Perhaps Wade was tired of feeling like a second fiddle to every big name free agent. Perhaps it was best for him to be selfish versus selfless for once.
Yes this could have been avoided but for the future of the franchise this had to happen. One had to be forced to step aside as painful as it seemed but a door closed today doesn’t mean that said door will be closed tomorrow or forever.
“What happened with Dwyane floored me,” Pat Riley said, “I’m going to miss the fact of what I might have had planned for him and his future…….It’s my responsibility to sort of make that happen. I didn’t make it happen.”
Since his departure pleasantries have been shared on both sides, remorse has taken over the anger. Could it be the 7 stages of a breakup-perhaps so.
I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships. I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community and especially #HEATNATION for all of their love and support over the years. It has been truly incredible. I am deeply moved and appreciative of the positive messages from my fans expressing that they want what’s best for me and I know they will support my decision. The memories including championship parades and five conference titles are incredible moments we have shared that will always remain close to my heart as I begin the next chapter of my life.
Make no mistake about it, it hurts like Hell and it will more so once the NBA season starts anew and Wade wears Chicago red. He’ll experience two home comings this season, one in the city he grew up in and the other in the city where he became a man.
Thank you for thirteen great seasons and the opportunity to watch you grow from the shy kid from Chicago to the franchise staple, the torch-bearer that continued building upon the foundation laid by Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway and American Airlines Arena will always be your house.