13 amazing years. 12 All Star seasons. 5 Finals. 3 rings.
We watched him grow from Flash to WoW. We watched the superstar emerge while almost singlehandedly carrying the Heat to greatness in 2006 (Game 3, anyone?). He convinced his super-friends to take their talents to South Beach, and we watched four of the most thrilling NBA seasons in recent memory.
But now Dwyane Wade is leaving Miami and going home to Chicago – not to chase rings, but to chase respect.
Since being drafted with 5th pick in 2003, Wade has been the face of the Miami Heat franchise, and the club’s all-time leader in games played, minutes, points, field goals, assists, steals and 2nd all time in blocks. Wade accounts for over 9% of the TOTAL points in Miami Heat history – and 100% of its championships.
Somehow, the expression “End of an Era” seems small.
From Dwyane Wade to Heat Nation:
This has been an extremely emotional and tough decision to come to. After 13 years, I have decided to embark on a new journey with the Chicago Bulls. This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family.
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.
Growing up in Robbins, Ill., I never dreamed that an NBA career could have even been possible and that one day I would wear a Chicago Bulls jersey. Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. 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. Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart.
I look forward to returning to my roots and to what lies ahead.
Much Love and Respect,
Although Heat Nation is certainly still reeling from the news, we can’t begrudge the man for wanting to work for a different company after 13 years in the same office, especially after things got acrimonious.
It has to suck to be the top employee in the company’s history but never treated as such, and especially not this summer. There was no “We Want Wade” campaign, no Miami-Wade County push, no sending Heat players to NY to woo him, no attention even paid to him until after Whiteside and KD did their thing. Pat Riley didn’t even call or meet with Wade during the offseason.
Wade was the personal embodiment of “Heat Lifer” and an unselfish player who sacrificed time and again for the betterment of his team. Imagine just how disrespected he must have felt to leave the city where he built his legacy.
The Heat, for their part, pride themselves on family, loyalty and taking care of its own, but apparently those ideals have a sell-by date.
It didn’t have to be this way, but breakups always suck. Now our favorite player leaves town to return “home” and play for the Bulls, the team he grew up idolizing.
Here’s Riley’s initial statement to Dan Le Batard:
“SADDDDDDD!!!! SO saddddddd! 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 fraught 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. 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!”
It’s easy to play the blame game or scream about “Loyalty!” – but it’s obvious things got too ugly between Wade, Riley and the Arisons. Basketball might be entertainment to us fans, but to players and teams, it’s work and business. Riley’s words acknowledge the Heat know they insulted their superstar, but they felt that a mid-30s guard wasn’t worth tying up max dollars for multiple years.
Riley and the Arisons made a business decision – it’s that simple. Cold and practical, but simple. Wade still feels he’s a respect-demanding star (rightly so) and left for a club that will treat him accordingly.
The Heat (albeit passive-aggressively) were ready to move on. Dwyane Wade reluctantly moved on. Heat Nation isn’t there yet.
We have plenty of time to figure out if all parties made the correct decision in ending the relationship, but there is no denying it was a helluva historic HOF-worthy run for the 13 years the marriage lasted.
Dwyane Wade, the Heat Lifer, is a class act and will be missed.
Today is a sad day for Heat Nation, but I know I’m not alone in looking forward to the day when #3 is retired proudly and respectfully in the rafters of the AAA where it belongs.
Heat guard, Mario Chalmers, was traded this week to the Memphis Grizzlies, along with James Ennis for Jarnell Stokes and Beno Udrih.
As a valued member of the Heat family for over 7 seasons – mostly as an annoying little brother – Chalmers always gave 100% and will kind of be missed by Heat Nation.
Although he played alongside the likes of LeBron and Wade, Rio often seemed to think he was the best player on the floor (what I affectionally called PLAYER 1 mode) – but the statistically poor shooting guard will probably be remembered more for his turnovers and public scoldings by James.
Although it’s certainly fun to pick on Rio, the man still has 2 rings and ranks near the top of many team records.
Most 3 pointers in a single game (10)
4th overall 3 pointers team history
4th most games played team history
5th most steals and assists per game in team history
2nd most steals total in team history
3rd in assists total in team history
Most 3 pointers attempted and made in team post-season history
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. OR you just get LeBron to come back.
Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers are back in the NBA Finals, its a good time to remember the notorious open letter piece of shit owner Dan Gilbert posted on the team’s site after LeBron James’ left for the Miami Heat…
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….
The great Bill Nye tackled Deflategate for Funny or Die, and the video has some gems.
“While we’re all obsessed with Deflategate, let’s keep in mind that there’s something about which you should give a fuck. Yes, like Tom Brady, the world is getting hotter and hotter, and you know why? Because we humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”
After listing things that lead to climate change (including increased Carbon Dioxide emitting from the mouths of Brad/Belichick during press confereces defending their cheating), The Science guy gives a solution:
“You should vote for congressmen and senators that appreciate the threat of climate change and the rate at which the world is getting warmer, so that we can preserve the earth for humankind for generations to come.”
And about the balls? After storing some in the fridge to simulate the temperature drop, Nye concluded, “pretty much the same. The Patriots probably bent the rules a little bit.”