Dwyane Wade prioritized happiness in choosing Bulls, felt that his time was up in Miami
Wade signed with the Chicago Bulls, effectively returning home and leaving the franchise he played his first 13 seasons with.
In a recent interview on ESPN, Wade spoke about the decision, how he feels about it, and what went into it:
“My time, the clock [in Miami] ticked out on me,” Wade said in the interview recorded in the wake of his Friday introduction to the media at the Bulls’ practice facility. “And whether they felt it, whether they wanted to do it, I did. And I respectfully walk away saying I tip my hat to their organization and to the city for embracing me and giving me the platform to be great. And I did that. I was great. It will always be there. But I’ve got more things to do.”
Wade won three championships in Miami and became one of the most beloved sports figures ever in South Florida.
There was reported fallout between him and Heat president Pat Riley, with Wade feeling disrespected at the contract Miami was offering him:
“I respect Pat Riley to the fullest for what he’s done in this game, you know, drafting me, when a lot of people didn’t believe I was going to be as great as I’ve become,” he said. “But in this situation, we all have choices. So we choose not to put ourselves in the situation. He wasn’t the sole reason I left at all, but it was his choice.”
“I had to focus on my happiness, and I didn’t feel that my happiness was going to be returning,” he said. “I thought my time was up. And it’s like, ‘Oh, but I can’t see you in another jersey. You’re supposed to be one player to always want to wear one jersey.’ I wanted to be that. I did.”
Wade will help form an interesting team next season in Chicago, that will feature three newcomers in the starting lineup. He’ll start alongside Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo in the backcourt, and Nikola Mirotic and Robin Lopez up front. It should make for a playoff team in the Eastern Conference while the team Wade left, Miami, will struggle for a postseason berth without its former star.
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