Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade took nearly all summer long to decide on a return for his 16th and last NBA season, and while some saw it coming from a mile away, the 36-year-old veteran was heavily leaning toward retirement.
During Monday’s media day, Wade confirmed he was indeed “about 90-10” leaning toward retiring at times this summer, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
Wade announced he would come back for “one last dance,” but the South Beach icon admitted that was the wrong metaphor to use.
“I don’t even know how to dance,” said Wade with a chuckle, noting he wants to make the most of his last season, looking back on his career before taking one final bow. “I was just a kid with a dream… I’ve laid it out on the line and given everything I have to the game. And I can walk away from this game OK with that.”
Teammate Udonis Haslem had committed to return for another season only a week before Wade did, likely an enticing factor of familiarity, having played 14 seasons next to Haslem in a Miami Heat uniform.
Wade will make the veteran’s minimum of $2.4 million this season, less than the $2.6 million he made in his rookie season — a clear indication that he’s willing to give his everything to the game before hanging up his Li-Ning sneakers.
The longtime veteran will retire having earned short of $200 million in his career, surpassed by his draftmates LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh.