On Friday night, Dwyane Wade was in a Miami Heat jersey for the first time since May 15th, 2016. In a 91-85 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wade played 22 minutes, recording three points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.
Talking to NBA TV after the game, Wade said that he would not leave the Heat again and will be with the team until he decides to retire.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 10, 2018
“This is it for me guys. Imma stay here until I decide to hang it up. This is home and I’m so happy to be back,” said Wade.
Wade also talked about how easy it has been for him to ease back into the Heat culture, having played with some of the players on the team before. Wade has played with six of the current Heat players. They are Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, Udonis Haslem and Hassan Whiteside.
“From a basketball standpoint, like you said it G-Hill (Grant Hill), I know a few of these guys here, I think five of these guys here I played with,” said Wade. “We’ve been to the playoffs together. And then there’s other guys that has bought into this Heat culture. I told Coach when I talked to him yesterday, I feel like I’m a part of the group already.”
He also said that he hopes he can become a mentor to some of the players on the team.
“These guys, who I see when we play them or who I see in the summertime when I come back to Miami, they always show me a lot of love and a lot of respect for what I was able to accomplish here.” said Wade. “I just want to be able to pass that on to them, pass the knowledge down that I learned from vets before me. The Eddie Jones, the Brian Grants, the Smittys, the Shaquille O’Neals, the Gary Paytons. The list goes on and on and on. I’m happy that myself and Udonis could be in this position.”
The Heat re-acquired the three-time champion on Thursday from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for a “heavily protected” second-round pick. For the season, Wade is averaging 11.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Wade spent the first 13 years of his career in Miami before deciding to sign with the Chicago Bulls for the 2016-17 season and then the Cavaliers this season. Now he will finish his career back where it all started.