After eight games in a Chicago Bulls uniform, it is still bizarre for many NBA fans to think of Dwyane Wade as a member of an organization outside of the city of Miami. On Thursday night, Wade made his triumphant return to the city for a contest against the Miami Heat and, in advance of tip-off, the home crowd welcomed an opposing player with a massive eruption of support.
In fact, the Heat’s PA announcer went out of his way to spotlight Wade above and beyond the other members of the Bulls.
This is, of course, a fitting tribute for a player that will almost certainly represent the Miami Heat as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Wade spent the first 13 seasons of his career with the organization, bringing three championships to the city while scoring more than 20,000 points and earning inclusion in 12 All-Star games.
While his exit from Miami was unexpected and reportedly acrimonious when it comes to the team’s president Pat Riley, the warm reception for Wade is encouraging in that the fan base appears to appreciate the phenomenal impact that the now 34-year-old shooting guard made during his tenure. Dwyane Wade will have a close eye on the tribute video put together by the Heat for this occasion, but before the game ever began, he received a hero’s welcome fitting of his contributions.