It may have stressed him out to the point where he lost 10 pounds, but eventually, Dwyane Wade decided to go back home and play for the Bulls next season instead of rejoining the Miami Heat. Losing their franchise player was a major blow to the Miami Heat organization and team president Pat Riley, who has spoken out in the weeks since saying he is “so sad” to lose D-Wade.
Riley undoubtedly could have done more to keep Wade if he really wanted to, especially considering the fact that Hassan Whiteside has come out and said he would have taken less money to keep the three-time champion in South Beach.
Now that Wade is truly and officially gone to Chicago, Riley once again admitted his mistakes during a recent state-of-the-Heat address saying that he wished he had handled the entire situation differently. Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson:
“This was not about money. This was about something else,” Riley said. “I more than he (failed) because he’s the asset, he’s the star, he’s the face of the franchise. I should have done everything I could have verbally to try to change his mindset.”
There are conspiracy theorists out there who believe Riley actually knew exactly what he was doing and didn’t want to handicap the team by paying Wade the salary he was requesting, so he was therefore fine with letting the former Finals MVP walk. Those folks would say that Riley is only now saying what he is saying for public relations purposes, as Heat fans are understandably upset that Wade won’t be playing in South Beach.
However, if he is indeed being genuine, then Riley is doing the right thing by admitting his mistakes. D-Wade will always be remembered as a member of the Heat no matter what he does in Chicago, and he probably always imagined retiring in a Heat uniform. Riley took advantage of Wade’s loyalty and thought he would take a pay cut once more, and when he realized he would not, it was too late to bring his superstar back. The only thing he can do is admit he messed up and try to move on with the roster he has.
(Via The Chicago Tribune)