Dwyane Wade: ‘I have no rift with Pat Riley’
He also said not only was his hometown a big part of him signing with the Bulls, but cited it was his own decision not to return to the Heat.
Wade spoke to reporters and cleared that air on moving to a new home.
I got the opportunity to be selfish and I took it.
Wade is a Chicago native, where he grew up idolizing Michael Jordan. The opportunity to return there under the right circumstances, along with the Heat playing hard ball in negotiations only led him to make the move.
The direction and the focus for that organization in Miami, which I have nothing but respect for and love for, was a little different than it has been in the past. And with that being said, my direction and my focus was a little different than it’s been in years past.
Riley expressed regret in losing Wade after it sunk in that the relationship was over with, but Wade says that doesn’t mean it was on bad terms.
I have no rift with Pat Riley.
It wasn’t because he didn’t reach out to me. How petty is that? I sat at a table with the guys who pay the bills. And I knew they wanted me to still be there, but ultimately I wanted to be here.
It was my decision to be selfish and to live out a dream of mine.
Wade ultimately took a 2 year $47 million contract from the Bulls over the Heat’s final offer of 2 years $40 million, as well as a $50 million offer from the Nuggets.
Wade put the finish on the rumors to squash it once and for all.
Let’s clear up the notion that Pat Riley orchestrated me getting out of Miami because he didn’t offer the money I wanted. This was not a money deal for me. If it was a money deal, I would have taken the most money that was offered for me.
He has to make the decision for the organization, which he’s done an amazing job over his tenure there. And we all benefited from it. But this decision was basically mine. And I couldn’t concern myself or worry about someone reaching out to me or not reaching out to me.
There were more topics Wade covered in the summary below:
- He would defer to Jimmy Butler as the face of the Bulls, just as O’Neal did with Wade when O’Neal joined the Heat following championship success with the Los Angeles Lakers, “It won’t be a tug and pull whose team it is.”
- He would not commit to this being the final stop of his NBA career, “As a player, you always want the option.”
- There should be no Big Three comparisons with Butler and Rajon Rondo to what he had during four trips to the NBA Finals with the Heat alongside James and Bosh.
- His fellow NBA players were floored by his announcement, “No one expected this to happen. No one.”
- Confidence remains high, “What minutes I play, just know that they’re going to be productive.”
- The move comes at a time when wife Gabrielle Union had, “just built her dream home, well she thought, in Miami,”
- There also was a difficult sell with his sons, “They heard winter and they got scared.”