This summer, Heat fans were stunned by Dwyane Wade‘s departure to the Chicago Bulls. Despite all the turmoil surrounding his contract negotiations with the organization’s front office, nobody ever thought it would actually get to that point. But ever with an eye toward the future, Pat Riley ultimately made the difficult decision to let Wade walk.
It was an outcome that could’ve resulted in lingering bitterness for the three-time champ, but he proved that there were no hard feelings – at least toward the city and its fans – when he recently purchased this billboard to say a heartfelt goodbye to the place he’d called home for his entire NBA career up to this point. The franchise similarly honored Wade earlier this summer when they took out a full-page ad in the Miami Herald thanking him.
Wade had made it abundantly clear to Heat brass that he wanted to stay put in Miami but was tired of taking pay cuts to give the organization more flexibility. Riley and the Heat, however, ultimately balked at his demands. Wade now joins a Chicago Bulls team that went through upheaval of its own this summer when they parted ways with both Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.
There were certainly a lot of benefits for Wade to move back to his hometown in the Windy City, but the way the Bulls are currently constructed, it doesn’t necessarily bode well for any championship aspirations the 34-year-old guard still harbors at this point in his career.