The NBA is still reeling from Dwyane Wade’s decision to sign with the Chicago Bulls, having bolted from Miami after 13 seasons.
Heat president Pat Riley refused to budge on the team’s $20-million-a-year offer for the future Hall of Famer, and says he’s heartbroken by Wade’s departure.
Relationships are important people!
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 4, 2016
Thank you @DwyaneWade for a great 13 yrs! You've had a tremendous impact on our community and our organization. We wish you all the best.
— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 7, 2016
While you're watching Kelly Ripa, one more nugget: Pat Riley never called Dwyane Wade during the entire process.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 7, 2016
Riles typed out an emotional response to his franchise player’s exit.
Per the Miami Herald:
Wade felt unwanted, for whatever his reasons. Wade felt underappreciated, for whatever his reasons. That’ll all come out soon enough. His relationship with Riley was in tatters by the end, damaged by the way Wade’s allegiances always seemed to be to LeBron James. The Heat’s proud reputation as loyalty lifers takes a hit today as its prodigal son leaves behind all the warmth in his past for a cold Chicago. Ego and pride and willfulness and stubbornness — some of the things that helped make him a champion — also made him pack his bags and move out.
Riley was too raw to talk about it Wednesday night, but I asked him if he wanted to say anything about how he was feeling, and this is what he wrote by text:
“SADDDDDDD!!!! SO saddddddd! I will never forget the sixth game in Dallas in 2006. DW rebounded the ball, and threw it to the heavens and the Heat universe was perfect for that moment. Our first world championship. Our universe is not perfect today. It will be fraught with anger, judgment, blame instead of THANK YOU!!! Ten years ago. Ten years older. Ten years wiser. Ten years changed. All of us. Dwyane had a choice, and he made it. He went home. Bad, bad summer for us. But there will be another 10 years, and it will be someone or something else in 2026. Move on with no blood or tears. Just thanks. I truly loved Dwyane, but families grow, change and get on with another life. He will always be a part of us. ALWAYS! And no more bruises and enough fighting. Let’s just fly above it if we can and never forget. I feel his pain and pride for what pushed him over the ledge. Been there. Forever, for always, your coach I will be. FOREVER!”