While it is likely to have a smaller impact on the league as a whole, the idea that Wade would leave Miami was never seriously tossed around until it actually happened.
Looking back now, given what we know about Chris Bosh and LeBron James, it is clear that something is happening in Miami to drive a wedge between Pat Riley and his superstar players. Today, Wade offered his insight into exactly what drove him away from the city he thought he would play in for the rest of his career.
‘I thought it was an opportunity I would be there forever, but s–t happens,’ Wade said in an exclusive interview with CSNChicago.com after the Bulls’ 112-80 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night ‘And when s–t happens, you gotta be prepared to (move on). I found out very quickly that this is a business.’
“Wade is a Chicago Bull in large part due to the business end of basketball, as he left Miami in free agency over the summer when negotiations with the franchise he never wanted to leave went sour.
“He insists there’s no hurt feelings with the Miami Heat franchise he became synonymous with, though he hasn’t spoken to Heat president Pat Riley since his departure — the only member of the franchise he hasn’t spoken with since free agency started, as one could say Riley is the sole reason Wade is wearing Bulls red as opposed to Heat red.
“’I’ve kept in touch from everybody there besides Pat. From the owners on down,’ Wade said. ‘It’s nothing but respect, and I have no hard feelings. I understand what Pat is, he’s a competitor. I’ve been knowing him for 13 years so I expect no different.
“’People might not believe me, but I have no hard feelings toward Pat. Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen, everything happens for a reason, so I’m fine.’”
The eye-grabber here is definitely Wade saying he has “kept in touch from everybody there besides Pat,” referring to Pat Riley. He insists that he has no hard feelings towards Riley, but if that’s the case, why did he specify that he doesn’t keep up with him?
I’m sure Wade doesn’t literally keep up with every single person in the Heat organization other than Riley, so he was clearly trying to convey a message.
Wade goes on to explain that the Heat prioritizing Hassan Whiteside and Kevin Durant over him in free agency definitely affected his decision. He felt he wasn’t being given the same respect he always gave to the Heat, and that he needed to take care of himself and make sure he ended up in the right situation.