It’s still stunning that Dwyane Wade is no longer a member of the Miami Heat. He made an unparalleled impact on that franchise and fanbase over his 13-year career, and now that he’s moved on to Chicago, Miami is still picking up the pieces.
Through all of our coverage of his departure, however, we’ve hesitated to say that he’s played his final game in Miami, because you never really know. The Heat feel similarly, as you can see in this full-page ad they took out in the Miami Herald (courtesy of Imgur):
The ad depicts Wade shouting, “This is my house!” as he did so many times when taking over a game for the Heat, which makes the team’s parting words – “We’ll leave the key under the mat for you” – all the more poignant.
Pat Riley may have preferred building a sustainable future for the team over paying Wade the money he deserves after years of taking less than his market value, but Riley still knows how crucial Wade was to the team for years, and how beloved he is by the city. The ad, and the other promotions the Heat are running (like reducing all Wade merchandise to $13 to honor his 13 years of service), are all good ways to pay tribute to the man and wish him well.
Meanwhile, Wade’s new home – Chicago – took an entirely different approach to welcoming No. 3 in the local paper: