Dwyane Wade is in Miami running his basketball camp this week, and the question regarding his relationship with Pat Riley suddenly came up. Instead of speaking in platitudes platitudes or avoiding the topic altogether, though, the Chicago Bulls’ new shooting guard decided to clear the air.
Does Wade harbor any resentment toward Miami’s notoriously ruthless front office executive? Yes, and the future Hall of Famer even admitted he’s angry with Riley, too. But ultimately, Wade says he understands the business side of basketball and will always have “love” and “admiration” for his former coach.
Here’s his quote in full courtesy of the Miami Herald:
“There’s going to be a lot of stuff that’s said about me and Pat. First and foremost, I love Pat Riley. He’s been someone who has been a figurehead in my life since I got drafted here at 21. But at the same time, he has a job to do. He has a different hat to wear. That hat sometimes is not to be my best friend. That hat is to be the president of the organization, and to be a businessman. And it sucks. Because you love somebody so well, you guys love each other, but the business side comes out. You know?”
“And we have to deal with that. I’m not saying we’ve hugged and cried and shared tears at this moment. But I love Pat. And I will always love Pat. And I know he feels the same way about me. But it’s the business side, man. He’s a tough cookie. I’ve grown into be a tough one as well. Yeah, we can butt heads at times. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for what he’s been able to do in this game of basketball. I still haven’t even scratched the surface of what I hope my impact can be in this game of basketball. I only got 13 years under my belt. He got 13 years times 10 under his belt. So I’m not that guy.”
“I know I heard a lot of stuff back and forth. I’m never bashing Pat Riley. I’m never bashing the Miami Heat organization. I’m never saying nothing negative about them, out of my mouth, about them. Does the way that the process goes down, are you angry? Yes. Do you feel a certain way about stuff? Yes. I feel that way about my parents. But I love them to death. And my kids feel the same way about me when I got to punish them and I don’t do what they want me to do. But they love me to death. And that’s the way I feel about this organization. Like I said, the business side just comes into play sometimes, and it’s an ugly, ugly side. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing but love from me.”
Wade compares his relationship with Riley similar to that of a child and parent, but that doesn’t necessarily pass the smell test. A parent where business comes first? I get it, Riley is a mentor, and they’ve been though a lot together over 13 years and three championships, but doesn’t that make this situation even more devastating? Wade was so close to playing his whole career in one city. But after so many years working with a tough guy like Riley, maybe it isn’t as surprising for him as it is for us. And most importantly, Wade stresses that it’s all love at the end of the day and that he’ll always consider himself a part of the Heat family.
It’s somewhat poetic that Wade gets to go back home to Chicago, too. Well, at least it seems that way for now because we haven’t been forced to watch him share the floor with Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo, but we’ll let Wade bask in the greener pastures of a new chapter until the season tips off in the fall.