Thirteen years, twelve all-star games and three rings. That’s a rather large portion of his résumé on the court, but only a sliver of what he’s worth to one of the grandest American cities. He’s the best player in the history of a prominent sports franchise. He’s unselfish; he’s loyal; he’s charismatic, and he’s got a whole lot of swagger. He’s Dwyane Wade.
Considering the fact that his name goes hand in hand with the Miami Heat, Wade’s decision last night certainly entails a period of adjustment. Fans of the NBA, especially those of the Heat, have every right to be upset, just not at Wade. Anyone who calls Wade disloyal, or compares his decision to those of Kevin Durant or LeBron James from a few years ago, are mistaken.
Ultimately, the Heat have no one else to blame but themselves for Wade’s departure. Despite being born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, a homecoming was not the main reason for Wade opting to join the Bulls.
“Wade has spent two offseasons throwing dirty laundry in the streets because of fractured trust,” said ESPN’s Dan Le Betard. Before opting to stay with the Heat on a one-year deal last offseason, Wade nearly left Miami feeling undervalued. This year wasn’t much different, as the Heat prioritized re-signing Hassan Whiteside and pursuing Kevin Durant, which unfairly turned the franchise’s greatest player into an afterthought. With that said, there’s no sense in hating Wade for leaving Miami, and furthermore, it’s a damn shame that he was treated the way he was.
In a league driven by ego and greed, Dwyane Wade is as good as it gets, repeatedly putting his team’s interests ahead of his personal ones. Whether it was taking a pay cut or sharing the spotlight, D-Wade always did what was best for the Miami Heat.
It seems as if when Wade finally asked for what he’s worth, he was denied. Not once did he have to take less money, but he did it because he loved to win. He sure didn’t have to do it for all thirteen years, but he did that because he loves to win more than anyone. Ultimately, Dwyane Wade has had enough; not enough of South Beach or the city’s basketball fans, but enough of the disrespect he’s been shown by the Miami Heat organization.
He knows what he has in Miami; he’ll always love the city and the city will always love him. It became his one true home. He never really wanted to leave, but he had no choice, and when his departure became inevitable, all he did was say, screw it; I’m going “home,” at least that’s what I think.