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Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 11:00 am  |  58 responses

Dwyane Wade Says Hometown of Chicago Didn’t Embrace Him


by Marcel Mutoni@ marcel_mutoni

Aside from family members and childhood friends, very few people in Chicago cheer for hometown hero Dwyane Wade when his Miami Heat show up to play the Bulls.

According to Wade, he’s never been fully embraced by the basketball-mad city because he made his mark playing hoops in the suburbs as a young phenom. This fact, Dwyane seems to believe, created a disconnect between local fans and one of the Windy City’s greatest players.

Per the Sun-Sentinel:

“It’s always been a knock on guys who played in the suburbs,” said Wade, who played at Richards High in Oak Lawn, Ill., about 25 minutes outside the city. “You didn’t get as much attention because they think it’s not as tough or whatever the case may be. I think I represent the city. Guys are proud of that, but it’s something different between guys that go to school in the city and the suburbs.”

[...]

“Chicago has a rich history. I would never say that I’m the best player to come out of there because there’s so many great players that came before me that led the way. But to be one of the top players, it’d be an unbelievable honor for me.”

As the story points out, the only Chicago product to have had as much success in the NBA as Dwyane Wade is Isiah Thomas, and Wade will have a chance to surpass Thomas in the championship category this summer.

The Miami Heat are in town to play the Bulls tonight, and Chicago fans will have no other choice but to watch and grit their teeth as one of their own looks to help his team continue to rewrite the history books.

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  • pposse

    Benji Wilson never made it to the pros RIP but will probably go down as the best that never was. D Wade might not feel like he was fully embraced, but i know I was reppin him. He was gettin love up until the point he went to Chicago for a potential meeting in 2010..only to use the Bulls for leverage with the Heat and signing Bosh and James

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    using the Bulls for leverage? exactly what leverage are you imagining?

  • pposse

    well, as a fan im just saying it rubbed me the wrong way when he came in town in 2010 and had discussions on joining the bulls with management when I’m pretty sure that was never his intent.

    Still to this day, its my belief that Lebron was either going to Miami or Chicago. So Wade takes a meeting in Chicago, compares the offer Chicago gave him to Lebron’s and used that info to dissuade Lebron (on going to chicago). Maybe leverage isn’t the correct word..but he did some funny stuff

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    He looked at his options.
    .
    When you visit colleges, you still visit the one’s that aren’t your main priority to attend.
    .
    Wade looked at the Bulls offer incase LeBron decided to stay in Cleveland or go to New York.
    .
    LeBron looked at the Bulls incase that’s the team he wanted to go to.
    .
    But Pat Riley is the best salesman on earth.
    .
    no reason to over think it.

  • MikeC.

    These guys had their FA plans all worked out by the 2008 Olympics. Meeting with other teams was just a smokescreen to keep Rat Riley out of Stern’s suspicious gaze.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LOL at the idea that Stern would have done something negative to LeBron.

  • pposse

    Yeah i might be, but as a fan I’m still pissed about it. Also, Wade and Rose was/ should have been the actual duo if the ping pong balls dropped in Miami’s favor in 08. Wade could have corrected that strange twist of fate by joining the bulls, – and I agree with @f98c90928e1c0afa593cb99f52bd8ef2:disqus they all had this stuff planned out since the 08 olympics

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    was Pat Riley at those Olympics? Cuz, idk if you have noticed, but he’s the one who decides who plays on his team and how they do it.
    .
    i think Wade/LeBron/Bosh talked about they would like to play together. But they never really considered it a likely option, especially in 2008, a year after LeBron’s Cleveland team went to the finals.

  • Max

    Here’s one for you.

  • Max

    And one for you.

  • pposse

    remember when lebron and wade both signed their initial 5 yr extension for 80 (or 60) million after their third year? And then both of them warned Carmello not to sign a max deal, but he didn’t listen. It was their plan all along. These guys are a lot smarter than the players back in the days.

  • A-RAY

    He’s not embraced by Chicago because he chose to be the villain. He doesn’t represent Chicago in any way.

  • LP

    Well, he had an opportunity to come play for his home team, and he chose not to…He had a right to make his choice, and thats fine, but that doesn’t mean Chicagoans have to like it….They don’t like yo a$$, Dwayne…Accept that.

  • OneStep

    I read this as Dwyane Wade said, “Wah wah wah wah.” For pity’s sake Wade, you get all the love you need from your Miami fans. If it was important to you you should have signed for your hometown Bulls. You chose to chase the dollar instead. Now stfu.

  • initbruv

    Everything’s a conspiracy. A few days ago you were trying to explain how a game that we all watched happen wasn’t fixed like the WWE, smh.

  • KoloradoKobe

    Despite the headline, Wade is staying humble here saying he would never consider himself the top baller from Chi-town. Personally, I think it would have been ill had he teamed up with D-Rose in 2010 for an all hometown backcourt. That would have been historic (even if their skill sets were redundant).

    And for those who are upset that he visited Chicago before choosing to stay in Miami, wouldn’t it have looked even worse if he hadn’t sat down with the Bulls at all? And I recall him saying it was a very tough choice to choose between his hometown Bulls and reupping with the Heat.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    A few days ago I was telling someone this isn’t the WWE. Good try tho.

  • Rid

    He’s not embraced by Chicago because he’s not from Chicago plus he said it himself in 2003 at the draft “I don’t wanna play for the bulls”

  • Hungry Jack

    He did toy with the Bulls front office and he did use the Bulls as leverage in 2010. Also think he feigned interest in joining the Bulls so it looked as though he wasn’t blatantly colluding with LeBron and Bosh (which of course he was).

    Total douche move. He doesn’t deserve to claim the city of Chicago for anything.

  • Chicago

    He chose to chase the dollar but took less money to sign with Lebron and Bosh..? Makes sense. He chose his best chance at a championship and its turned out pretty well.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    He’s spoken about Chicago so many times. I think he had a nephew who was shot in Chicago last year. The biggest thing he’s done against them is chosen not to play for the Bulls when he was a free agent. But he went so far as to put on a Bulls jersey while he was making his decision. The man chose to stay where he was drafted. So if Chicago doesn’t like him, it’s more about them than it is about him. He seems to be a good dude. Good father. Great player. Hall of Famer. 2 time champion with maybe 1 or two more rings coming. He’s an all around good representative for the city whether they embrace him or not. This idea about guys having to be from a certain part of the city to be thought of as “authentically Chicago” is ridiculous. What he said about going to school in the suburbs, if that’s really true, it shows that the problem is with those who have an issue with him. He’s not the problem.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you do realize Melo was after his money right? Winning wasn’t his top priority, getting paid was.

    .

    And it was an early termination option that made them free agents. NOt that they signed lesser contracts.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Stupid. He was born in the South Side of Chicago. He was raised in Robbins, Illinois which he has spoken about so many times since he’s been in the league. Robbins, Illinois is in Cook County which is in Chicago. Going to need proof that he said he didn’t want to play for the Bulls.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    “Which of course he was”…Any proof that those 3 all were in collusion? Or did you dream that up? The douche move is you and everyone else who has any issue with him or LeBron, Bosh for deciding to play together which was a great decision. LeBron made his final decision the morning of the TV special, not 2 summers before that at the Olympics. Wade made his decision around the same time Bosh did and they announced it together.

  • pposse

    nobody in Wade and Bron’s position signed a deal like that before them. All the previous supestars/ all stars signed deals like Melo’s.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    My fault, i forgot they signed for 3 years with a 4th year option. But for a reason,
    .
    The extension is for two fewer years than the deal the Cavs offered, a five-year package worth about $80 million. But by the summer of 2010, James will be a seven-year veteran with the option of seeking a new contract as an unrestricted free agent, making him eligible to negotiate a maximum contract worth 30 percent of the salary cap.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Correction, LeBron, Wade and Bosh signed 3 year extensions, not 5 year extensions. All were for around $60 mill. Melo signed a 5 year extension worth around $80 mill. Smart decisions by those 3 because it gave them an opportunity to see what their organizations were going to put around them and they could leave as free agents if they wanted to while they were still young. Great business decisions. Melo maybe should have listened to them if they ever had any conversations about it at all. We all saw how he wanted to leave before his contract was up. Had he signed the same kind of extension the other 3 signed, he would have been in that same free agent class with them and been able to play where he wanted to play.

  • initbruv

    That’s what I meant to say I just apparently can’t form a coherent sentence. My bad.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol, no stress.

  • Nella

    Well, to be fair, no one wanted to play for the Bulls in 2003.

  • Yamama

    Chicago is a freaking ice box in the winter. Miami has better weather and women. I’d choose Miami over Chicago too.

  • pposse

    I def agree it was a sound business decision, but notice how all three of those guys ended up teaming together?! Coincidence my dear watson?! i think not! Lebron and Wade definately reached out to Melo and told him to do the same; this all was major news on ESPN back in the day. Melo was salty, and cried and whined his way out of Denver as soon as he seen what happend with Wade and co. Even now, guys like KD and D Rose signed a 5 yr extension.

  • pposse

    so basically the deal Bron, Wade and Bosh signed worked two fold… they can get out of a bad situation earlier (after the third year), or they have the ability to sign for the %30 max after the 4th year whereas Carmello would have had to wait 5 years to get signed to a max deal. Is that right?

    And then there is option three…get out of bad situation and team up with eachother lol.

  • John Pierre

    We respect him but we ain’t kissing his Ass! we embrace ppl on our team, not ppl testing the market! IMO that bit about playing in the suburbs is a crock. Michael Finley, Shannon Brown, Doc Rivers, Corey magette, and even Isiah Thomas all played in the suburbs! and they are all will respect it players, both past and present.

  • Jeremy Olvera

    Is this a #@%^ing joke. Before DRose came to town all of Chicago rooted on the side for Dwyane Wade. I recall he even got a little bit of cheering when he used to play the hapless Bulls in the early to mid 2000s. As far being in the suburbs yea it’s different but when you make it to the top of your profession whether your a CEO from Arlington Heights, or a NFL player from Berwyn, Chicago still loves that. Charles Barkley is correct, this Heat team is a whiney bunch.

  • hoodsnake

    I don’t think the Jailblazers would have cared to play for the Bulls in 03. Mike Beasley also comes to mind…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah pretty much. By signing for less money, they enabled themselves to dictate their future and have the opportunity to make more money sooner.
    .
    But Melo wanted more money in general. So he chased it that way.

  • http://twitter.com/LuisBrownish Luis Moreno

    Thank you. I swear sometimes I read things that are so absurd. It’s a life changing decision. If you are going to be doing something for a living for the next 5 years you want to make sure you’re making the absolute right choice that is best for YOU and nobody else.

  • http://twitter.com/LuisBrownish Luis Moreno

    Too strange. They had what? 1.7% or something like that. The hometown chicago number 1 pick thing is too big of a coincidence.

  • pposse

    yeah we had no statistical shot, but then we struck the lottery! lol but d wade and rose would have been a force like no other. As a fan of the nba I would not have minded that at all.

  • pposse

    i dont get why more nba ballers do not think like this. John Wall for example, says he’s a max guy, why doesn’t he just get a three yr extension see where his team is at and then sign a max deal for more later on in his bball career?/

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    right…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well it’s quite a bit different then it was in 2008. that’s the biggest thing. and Wall hasn’t proven himself at the level that those 3 had. It was guaranteed that they would be offered full max deals after that 3-year deal. they knew it. Wall on the other hand, we don’t know if he’ll even be fully healthy in 3 years to try and chase another big deal. As much as i do support giving him the max right away, i also support him chasing it.
    .
    basically a 5 year deal for Wall (or 4, if they plan on giving the 5-year deal to Beal) is just a better bet for both parties. Wall has insurance that he will make max money even if his legs start to break down. And Washington has the insurance of an extra year if Wall does fulfill all the potential he is showing that he is capable of fulfilling.
    .
    That make sense?

  • Slick Ric

    I didnt have a problem with him choosing to play for the Heat. I just felt like him, lebron and Bosh knew where they were going all along and they put on a show. He tried to act as if the Bulls really had a chance of signing him and that didnt sit well with me.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    There’s no evidence to show that they made any decision at the Olympics in 2008. They all signed smart deals. These theories that people pull from their behinds make no sense. They all teamed together because they were free agents and they knew that they would be tough to beat playing together. Wade and Bosh have the same agent. And all 3 of them had been friends. They made better decisions than Melo did. Melo probably regrets it. Not only did those 3 probably make more money annually but they were done with their contracts sooner. And Melo didn’t whine and cry his way out of Denver. He made it known that he wasn’t signing another extension with them and they traded him.

  • Slick Ric

    He is from Chicago, He lived on the south side until he was like 9-11, dont know the exact age but then he moved to Robbins with his father.

  • pposse
  • Redd

    Yea exactly, he could’ve brought us Lebron and/or Bosh.

    He would’ve been a hero here, he made his choice & as a long time Heat player I get it, don’t like him tho.

  • Jackie

    Give me a break. We respect Wade but his team is up for another championship soon and we don’t like that. Did we like Isaiah Thomas because he was a Chicagoan? No, he was easily DESPISED because we couldn’t get through his Pistons for the title. Wade, we like him a lot more than Thomas but he still doesn’t play for the Bulls, which is our pride. We have pride in guys like Anthony Davis, Shannon Brown, DWade, Doc Rivers, Jabari Parker, but they will never experience full Chicago pride from a Chicagoan until they play for the Bulls.

  • akamrj

    Dwayne wade is a childish hypocrit with a giant ego. Chicagoans do not hate him because he lived in the suburbs. they hate him because of his character and personality. there are other players from the suburbs that chicago fans love. doc rivers, cazzie russell,shannon brown, mark aguirre, micky johnson, tim hardaway, just to name a few.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Well it’s changed since then, CBA wise. That’s the biggest thing.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Read it. One man writing a story without providing any real sources to back up his information. Yeah, completely believable. Was he there watching Riley, James and MJ in that meeting? How does he know what went down there? Who told him that Wade didn’t want to play in Chicago? Who told him that Riley was pacing the hallway at LeBron’s offices? Who told him that LeBron began flirting with the thought of going to NY even though he never said it? That’s not evidence. That’s one man’s story.

  • hillbilly

    Yah, but to be fair, Miami doesn’t have poh-lush sah-sitch, Ditka or da Bearsss. So, dere’s dat to consider, my friend.

  • ricefield

    This is some kind of joke from the a$$ known as DWade. Just because you grew up in Chicago doesn’t mean anything. Went to college in Wisconsin. Playing pro ball in Miami. That meeting with the Bulls while really recruiting for Miami shows what DWade is really about, He left Chicago a long time ago. Isaiah 2.0.

  • http://basketball-performance.com/ Basketball Tips

    True true, they’re professional and that by means of who has the best offer, they’re supposed to go to where they are most welcome. stop thinking that they’re heroes or something, it’s business. a lot would be angry but that’s fact.

  • C

    Well he had a chance to comeback home but instead he toyed with the team and the city he claims he represents. D. Wade, Chicago don’t care about you. U might as well adopt Miami as ur hometown

  • Max

    I found one! | 0.0 |

  • Harold

    I remember Wade saying he chose Miami over Chi because Miami takes care of their players even after they retire (see Alonzo). You don’t see any ex-Bulls players with the Chicago organization much with the exception of Paxson.

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