After 13 years in South Beach with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade is finally going back home to Chicago.
Last night, the twelve-time All-Star announced his intentions to join the Chicago Bulls, sending a letter to the Associated Press that revealed he was leaving the Heat and intended to ink a deal with his hometown team.
The deal is yet to be confirmed but with the end of the moratorium period, Wade is now free to sign a contract with the Bulls to make his move official.
End of an Era
Wade called the move to leave the team where he made his name and became a star "an extremely emotional and tough decision."
"This has been an extremely emotional and tough decision to come to. After 13 years, I have decided to embark on a new journey with the Chicago Bulls."
"This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family," Wade wrote.
Yet again, much like with Wade's close friend LeBron James leaving Miami for a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the call of home is just too great to ignore.
Wade did talk about the Heat a lot in his letter, thanking the team he won three NBA titles at for all they have done for him over the years, ever since drafting him with that 5th overall pick out of Marquette all the way back in the 2003 Draft.
"I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships," Wade said.
"I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization."
This is yet to be confirmed, but according to that AP piece, Wade will be signing a two-year, $47million deal with the Bulls. It is said that the Heat were offering two years, $40million.
Wade went on to talk about growing up in Illinois and idolising the Bulls, saying watching them made him want to be a basketball player.
"Growing up in Robbins, Ill., I never dreamed that an NBA career could have even been possible and that one day I would wear a Chicago Bulls jersey," he said.
"Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player."
"My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game."
"Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart."
It's the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Dwyane Wade in Chicago? You better believe it.