Despite the fact that Dwyane Wade has chosen to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-18 season, he hasn’t completely closed the door on one day returning to the Miami Heat. Wade spent the first 13 seasons of his legendary career with the Heat before leaving to play for the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2016.
Wade spoke to the Associated Press and indicated that the connection he has with the franchise remains strong:
“Miami, the door’s always unlocked,” Wade said. “One day I want to retire in a Miami Heat jersey. I don’t know how that will happen, but I definitely want to make sure than when I decide to hang it up, that jersey is on. Whether it’s being back there or signing a one-day deal like Paul Pierce, I want to make sure that I go out the way I came in.”
Offering some insight into why he didn’t choose the Heat, Wade cited that the chemistry might’ve not worked:
“Honestly, I didn’t feel they needed me there,” Wade said. “I feel that those guys are in a good place. They deserve to come back this year and see what that 30-11 was about. They don’t need me there over their shoulder or anything like that. That’s kind of how I approached it.”
Still, Wade was touched by the outpouring of support that showed how much the fans and some of his teammates wanted him back:
“To be in this position, to be in this league so long and to have fans wanting you to be part of their team — I mean, we all want to be wanted — I can’t even explain what that means,” Wade said. “I really looked at their team and where could I fit in and what could my role be and would I be happy with that role.”
Ultimately, Wade’s final decision was based on the opinions of just two people: his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, and his son Zaire:
“When it comes down to big decisions like this, there’s two people I listen to: Her name is Gabrielle Union Wade and his name is Zaire Wade,” Wade said. “I listen to Zaire and my wife and try to see what they feel and what they want. Zaire told me just like this: ‘Dad, I would love to have you here and be around more. But I want you to go get your fourth ring.’”
Unless the Heat and Cavaliers face each other during the postseason, the only time that Heat fans will get to see Wade play at American Airlines Arena is when the Cavaliers come to town late in the season on Mar. 27.