Before Dwyane Wade officially leaves the Miami Heat to join the Chicago Bulls, he has one final order of business to attend to: say goodbye to the people in Miami. For the last 13 seasons, Wade has been the heart and soul of the Heat franchise, and the fans in Miami have reciprocated his passion for the team with a love that few players have earned from one fan base.
So before Wade splits, he decided to release a letter to the Associated Press in which he thanks the Heat organization, its fans, and the city of Miami. Wade made it a point to mention that this was tough, saying “This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family.” He also took a moment to reflect on what he’s been able to do as a member of the Heat, and thanked the community from the bottom of his heart.
But, ultimately, the pull of playing for his hometown team was too much for Wade to turn down. When he got to the portion of the letter where he talks about Chicago, Wade looked back on his days as a kid playing in the Windy City.
“Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.”
If Wade had to leave the Heat for any team, it makes the most sense that he left for the only franchise that’s as near and dear to his heart as Miami.