Dwyane Wade retired from the Miami Heat at the end of last season, missing the postseason at a time when he could have contributed one last time to a playoff team.
With the Heat currently laying claim to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 22-8 record, Wade may be looking at their success as bittersweet.
After all, many of the new faces that have been pivotal to Miami’s success so far this season weren’t around during Wade’s farewell tour.
In an interview with the Miami Herald’s C. Isaiah Smalls II, the former Heat superstar opened up about his thoughts on Miami’s success while answering a question about which new player he would have wanted to play with.
“I love this team,” Wade said. “I wish this team was here last year. That would’ve been a good way to send me off [laughs]. It didn’t happen but I’m glad that [Udonis Haslem] is here and he can experience it. The biggest thing for us is when you leave an organization that you put so much into it’s how you leave the organization. So I feel good one year away from basketball that the Miami Heat are in a place where you can see what the future looks like and it’s not a rebuilding, you know, place for this organization. So obviously I love Jimmy [Butler] being here. What he’s doing with this organization, we knew that was a perfect fit for him. So everything’s going good for him right now and I’m happy for them.”
Butler is the team’s cornerstone player now and the one whose leadership has mattered most. That’s especially true for the many young players on the team.
His hard work and dedication to working on his game have rubbed off on his teammates.
It would have been interesting to see Wade play alongside Butler, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn on this Heat team. The rookies arguably could have rejuvenated Wade’s career had they been on the team last year.
Perhaps one thing to keep in mind is that back in September, Wade himself reminded fans to “never say never” regarding a potential return from retirement.