Posts Tagged ‘Miami Heat’

Miami Heat president Pat Riley has changed his tune.

An introspective Riley told Ian Thomsen in the latter’s upcoming book, “The Soul of Basketball,” that LeBron James made the right call by choosing to return to Cleveland after his memorable four-year tour – which included two championships – through South Beach.

“While there may have been some carnage always left behind when he made these kinds of moves, in Cleveland and also in Miami, he did the right thing,” Riley told Thomsen, as relayed by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.

“I just finally came to accept the realization that he and his family said, ‘You’ll never, ever be accepted back in your hometown if you don’t go back to try to win a title. Otherwise someday you’ll go back there and have the scarlet letter on your back. You’ll be the greatest player in the history of mankind, but back there, nobody’s really going to accept you.'”

Having said that, Riley also admitted that he was initially furious when James ditched a dynastic team in Miami to start over in Cleveland.

“I had two to three days of tremendous anger. I was absolutely livid, which I expressed to myself and my closest friends,” Riley said. “My beautiful plan all of a sudden came crashing down. That team in ten years could have won five or six championships. But I get it. I get the whole chronicle of his life.”


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.”

Joaquin Oliver, 17, was excited about Dwyane Wade‘s return to the Miami Heat.

The veteran guard was traded back to South Beach, where he spent the first 13 years of his career, from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline.

But Oliver didn’t get a chance to enjoy the return of one of his favorite players, as the student-athlete at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was among the 17 killed in the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. about a week later.

Oliver’s parents revealed he was buried Feb. 17 in his Wade jersey, which prompted an emotional tweet from the future Hall of Famer:

Wade tried to elaborate on his feelings Monday.

“You really can’t put that in words. You hurt for the family,” Wade told reporters, according to Jordan McPherson and Barry Jackson from The Miami Herald. “If you ever get the opportunity to speak to them, you just try to hope the time where he was alive that you were able to bring some type of joy to his life and something memorable. A story that his family and you guys can talk about.

“… It’s emotional even thinking about that, that his parents felt that burying him in my jersey is something that he wanted. I take a lot of pride in what I’ve done in this state and what I’ve meant for the youth, so I appreciate that.”

Now that he’s back with the Miami HeatDwyane Wade says there will be no other stops in his NBA career.

“This is it for me, guys. I’m going to stay here until I decide to hang it up,” Wade told NBA TV’s Grant Hill on Friday night. “This is home, and I’m so happy to be back.”

After a season-and-a-half detour through the city of his birth with the Chicago Bulls, and 46 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to the Heat on Thursday for a future second-round pick. He received a thunderous ovation upon his return to American Airlines Arena on Friday, scoring three points in a Miami win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Wade is as synonymous with the Heat as any player in franchise history, and judging by he and his wife Gabrielle Union’s happiness at the return, it’s clear they never wanted to leave South Florida.

Wade is currently on a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million. The 36-year-old has slowed over the last few seasons, but can still be productive offensively. An impasse with team president Pat Riley over a new deal drove Wade away from the Heat in 2016.


Dwyane Wade is happy to be heading home.

Though a native of Chicago, it was with the Miami Heat with which Wade first made a name for himself in the NBA, leading the side to three NBA championships in the first 13 seasons of his career before opting to sign with his hometown Bulls two summers ago as a free agent.

Now, after being swapped for a second-round pick by the Cleveland Cavaliersat Thursday’s deadline, Wade is getting a chance to return to where it all began, though he didn’t expect it to be this soon.

“I always felt that one day it would happen,” Wade told The Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds. “For me, it’s always been a hope. You just don’t know how or when you’re going to get there.”

Upon their arrival in Miami, Wade, and perhaps more notably, wife Gabrielle Union, looked ecstatic to ditch the frigid Cleveland air and be back in the warmer Florida weather. As for his role with the Heat, team president Pat Riley told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that he expects Wade will be used in a reserve role, though he added the 36-year-old shooting guard “still has a lot left in the tank.”

Wade is more than happy to come off the bench if he has to.

“Don’t matter,” Wade told Reynolds. “I can’t wait to embrace whatever role I have.”


He may be wearing Cleveland Cavaliers colors in 2017-18, but before he hangs up his kicks for good, Dwyane Wade will make sure he returns to the Miami Heat.

“Miami, the door’s always unlocked,” Wade told The Associated Press. “One day I want to retire in a Miami Heat jersey. I don’t know how that will happen, but I definitely want to make sure that when I decide to hang it up, that jersey is on. Whether it’s being back there or signing a one-day deal like Paul Pierce, I want to make sure that I go out the way I came in.”

Wade spent the first 13 seasons of his career in South Beach after being drafted fifth overall in 2003. He captured three championships with the organization, and remains the team’s all-time leader in games played, minutes, points, assists, and steals.

A reunion was on the table once the 35-year-old was bought out of his contract with the Chicago Bulls, yet Wade elected for a different reunion with his former Heat teammate in LeBron James.

Wade also feels Miami has a good thing going with the pieces they have in place, and should look to build off its prosperous finish to the 2016-17 regular season.

“Honestly, I didn’t feel they needed me there,” Wade said. “I feel that those guys are in a good place. They deserve to come back this year and see what that 30-11 was about. They don’t need me there over their shoulder or anything like that. That’s kind of how I approached it.”

 NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings
Gordon Hayward is officially bound for Beantown, with the Boston Celtics announcing Friday they signed the prized unrestricted free agent.

After spending the first seven years of his NBA career with the Utah Jazz, Hayward tested the open market for the first time this summer, meeting with his incumbent team in addition to the Celtics and Miami Heat.

In a saga documented by his agent, Mark Bartelstein, Hayward changed his mind multiple times before making the “gut-wrenching” choice to leave the only club he’s ever known for greener pastures in Boston.

Hayward personally announced the decision with a post on The Players’ Tribune, indicating he thinks he can win a title with the Celtics, who reached the Eastern Conference finals this past season. The Indiana native is also excited to reunite with Brad Stevens, who was his coach at Butler and currently mans the sidelines for the men in green.

The Jazz and Celtics reportedly discussed sign-and-trade options involving Hayward and small forward Jae Crowder, but Danny Ainge ultimately elected against compensating his new star’s former club.

Although nothing materialized on that front, Boston did need to clear cap space in order to pay Hayward the max, so the organization shipped off starting shooting guard Avery Bradley – who has one year and $8.8 million left on his contract – to the Detroit Pistons.

The Celtics rolled out the red carpet for the 27-year-old Hayward, enhancing their recruiting meeting with a video at Fenway Park and appearances from stars he’d join in Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford.

Hayward’s coming off his best season yet, as he averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a steal over 73 games. He also earned his first All-Star nod and led the Jazz to the West semifinals.

In Boston, he’ll round out a talented Big Three and boost the club’s chances of taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers, who eliminated the Celtics in five games in the East finals.