‘Too raw’ Pat Riley on Dwyane Wade departure: ‘SADDDDDDD!!!! SO saddddddd!’
The NBA experienced yet another seismic event Wednesday when Dwyane Wade announced he would leave the only team he’s ever known, the Miami Heat, to go play for his hometown Chicago Bulls courtesy of a reported two-year, $47 million deal.
Granted, Miami became a second home for Wade over his stellar 13-year career. But several factors came into play that arguably forced the superstar’s hand and culminated in his decision to join the Bulls, something Wade wrote in a letter was “an extremely emotional and tough decision.”
Heat team president Pat Riley was contacted for comment on Wade’s decision but indicated to The Miami Herald’s Dan Le Batard that he was “too raw” on Wednesday night to speak publicly about it. Instead, Riley articulated his immediate reaction via a lengthy text message. It read:
“SADDDDDDD!!!! SO saddddddd! I will never forget the sixth game in Dallas in 2006. DW rebounded the ball, and threw it to the heavens and the Heat universe was perfect for that moment. Our first world championship. Our universe is not perfect today. It will be fraught with anger, judgment, blame instead of THANK YOU!!! Ten years ago. Ten years older. Ten years wiser. Ten years changed. All of us. Dwyane had a choice, and he made it. He went home. Bad, bad summer for us. But there will be another 10 years, and it will be someone or something else in 2026. Move on with no blood or tears. Just thanks. I truly loved Dwyane, but families grow, change and get on with another life. He will always be a part of us. ALWAYS! And no more bruises and enough fighting. Let’s just fly above it if we can and never forget. I feel his pain and pride for what pushed him over the ledge. Been there. Forever, for always, your coach I will be. FOREVER!”
The fallout from Wade’s departure, not to mention the potential issues and causes that led to the split, will be parsed practically to the point of overanalysis in the coming days. Reports that Riley never contacted Wade personally throughout the entire sage certainly warrants examination.
But for now, what’s done is done and the possibility — and even hope for some — that Wade would spend his entire NBA career in Miami has been dashed.