When veteran guard and Miami Heat franchise icon Dwyane Wade left the team in July 2016 as a free agent, South Floridians were hoping that he might someday return to the team. That wait has ended, with information on his playing status updated just hours after he was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
BREAKING: Dwyane Wade tells The Associated Press that he intends to play Friday in Miami. He doesn't want to make the fans wait any longer. "I've missed them and I know they've missed me," he said moments ago.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 8, 2018
That contest will be against the Milwaukee Bucks at American Airlines Arena and will tip off just after 8 p.m. ET.
Heat team president Pat Riley was enthusiastic about Wade’s return, looking ahead to the impact that the 15-year veteran can have with the team:
“We feel that Dwyane can help our team in so many ways,” Riley said. “It is a beautiful moment for us, for the city and for the fans. All of us embrace it in the manner that we want to win and that’s why we brought Dwyane back home. We look forward to having a great end of season run as we fight for the playoffs.”
Wade signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Bulls in 2016, but after one season sought a buyout when the team embarked on a rebuilding effort last summer. By the time training camp arrived, Wade had been bought out and he quickly signed with the Cavaliers, joining his close friend and former Heat teammate LeBron James.