No player’s name has been more synonymous with a franchise in the 21st century than Dwyane Wade‘s with the Miami Heat. For 13 years, Wade was the face of the Heat, even as superstars like Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James rolled through.

He was assumed to be a “Heat lifer.” As we all know, that’s not how it played out.

Wade eventually signed with the Chicago Bulls and the fans in South Beach are still coming to terms with the idea of going to a Heat game without the Flash in attendance. It really hasn’t sunk in for many people yet.

One of Wade’s best friends, Carmelo Anthony, was just as shocked as the rest of us by Dwyane’s decision.

From Nick Friedell of ESPN:

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“I was shocked,” Anthony said before Thursday’s Team USA practice at the United Center. “I was shocked more from a standpoint it was just hard to see. It’s hard to see some players in different uniforms and he’s one of those guys who I never thought I would see in a different uniform other than Miami. But it happened, and I got a chance to talk to him and sit down with him and really dig deep about his feelings and what happened. He’s at peace now. And when he’s at peace, I’m at peace with it.”

Anthony went through a similar dilemma when he was courted by the Bulls two years ago. Even though he ended up staying with the New York Knicks, the choice didn’t come easily. He understands how tough the process was for Dwyane.

More from Friedell:

“I don’t think the masses really understand how difficult those decisions are,” Anthony said. “And what goes into those decisions. And as athletes what’s going through our mind during those decisions. A lot of people think we can just wake up and we can just make those decisions — it’s not that easy.”

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