Speaking to reporters at a season-opening news conference Monday, Wade said that he decided to return last Sunday after speaking with Spoelstra the previous Friday. He added that he was leaning “90-10” towards retirement after last season.
The 12-time All-Star, who wore a “Wade 3:16” shirt to symbolize his jersey number and his 16 seasons in the league, said that he is just trying to make the most of his final training camp with the Heat.
“This is when it gets real,” he said. “I’m trying to enjoy this, the first of the lasts, the last of the firsts, whatever it is — the last of the lasts.”
The 36-year-old quipped that the “Last Dance” theme for his final season is ironic because “[he doesn’t] even know how to dance.”
“I just look at this as just me saying goodbye,” he added. “I don’t know. I don’t know what I want this season to be. We’re going to figure out this thing as it does on. … However this ends, it’s just another chapter to that book we’ve been talking about, in my life.”
Wade, who averaged 22.9 minutes off the bench for the Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers last year, said that he “would love to start” but is willing to play whatever role the team needs.
“I haven’t always been the number-one option. I’ve been number one. I’ve been number two. I’ve been a number there,” he said. “I go into camp and compete. I don’t worry about starting. Obviously, I want the most that my game and my body can give.”
Wade said he is at peace no matter how his final season plays out.
“I’ve laid it out on the line and given everything I have to the game,” he said. “And I can walk away from this game OK with that. It’s been amazing. It’s been a blur.”
Asked about what the future holds after his final season on the court, Wade said his ultimate goal is to become a team owner.
“I want to be around the game,” he said.