Wade: Riley being there in time of need paved way for Miami return

Posted: 02/03/2018 in NBA, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Though Dwyane Wade had a public falling out with the Miami Heat over his contract demands when he was a free agent in the summer of 2016, he mended fences with the franchise – and its president, Pat Riley – shortly before being brought back to Miami in a Wade-approved deadline-day trade earlier this month.

Wade and Riley had already mostly smoothed things over, but it was a gesture Riley made last month, at a time of need for Wade, that facilitated the 36-year-old’s return to the team that drafted him. Henry Thomas – the longtime agent of Wade, Udonis Haslem, and various other Heat players over the years – died in late January. Riley went to Thomas’ funeral, and when he saw Wade, he gave him a hug.

“It sounds simple. But it’s like, sometimes, as a kid, you just need that embrace from your father,” Wade told Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports. “Him coming to my agent’s funeral, a very vulnerable time for myself and (Haslem), meant a lot to me. Just that warm embrace meant a lot to me as well. You know the business can get in the way. I understand that. I made the decision I made (to leave), but at the end of the day, I know that guy would run through a brick wall for me. And this organization would. It felt right. I think that had a big thing to do with this trade happening to bring me back at this time.”

Before signing with his hometown Chicago Bulls in 2016, and the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer, Wade spent the first 13 years of his Hall of Fame career with the Heat. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, points, assists, steals, win shares, All-Star berths, and just about every other meaningful category.

“I was birthed here,” Wade told Lee.

“Going out to different teams, for me, was something personally, I needed to do,” he added. “But also you get to see you’re missing some things that helped you become the player you have been. The place you can get it back is here.”

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