Dwyane Wade says family is main factor of retirement decision

Dwyane Wade's All-Star Bowling Classic Hosted By The Sandals Foundation

Dwyane Wade is undoubtedly on his way to the Hall of Fame.

One of the best shooting guards in NBA history, the three-time champion has played in 982 regular-season games and 177 playoff contests in his 15-year career. Averaging 22.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists for his career, Wade accrued a lot of wear and tear over the years and experienced many serious lower-body injuries along the way.

For the first time, the negative effects of that might have been evident last season. He averaged just 11.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 23.2 minutes over 46 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers before getting traded back to the Miami Heat, where he served as the sixth man, averaging 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 22.2 minutes over 21 contests.

Considering the fact that he put up 18.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 29.9 minutes per game the season before as a member of the Chicago Bulls, it was a clear indication that the 36 year old is at the tail-end of his amazing run in the league.

He now seemingly has three options in front of him. He could re-sign with the Heat (and most likely sign a $5.3 million exception of the $2.4 million veteran minimum), take his talents to China (he was offered a three-year, $25 million contract with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls) or could walk away from the game and retire.

Although Pat Riley desperately wants him to return to Miami, Wade is taking his time figuring out what to do next. He made it clear that family is his number one priority.

Wade's main focus

"My son is a junior in high school right now," Wade said of his 16-year-old son Zaire, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. "Every decision at this point, especially in a professional athlete's career, at 36 years old, a lot of it surrounds around their families and what is best for their family. So I am really invested into making sure that my sons can have every tool that they need to be able to succeed at this game of basketball and game of life.”

At this point in his career and in his life, timing is everything. That's why returning home to Miami last season meant so much to him.

"Timing is everything," Wade said regarding his trade back to Miami last season. "The timing of me coming back to Miami from a personal and community standpoint was important. I was going through something personal in my life at the time, and I needed it. I needed to be around my family and in an environment that I was familiar with, and when I went back to the city, the community needed me to be back and needed my voice and face and my support.”

He added, ”So it definitely was the perfect time for me being back. Obviously, I didn't like the fact that we lost 4-1 in the playoffs but for me to get back into my comfort zone and being in the right situation and right opportunity that I can still play this game, maybe not above the rim, but still can play at a level that can help a team be successful, all those things for me were good.”

Therefore, it’s clear that the Heat organization means a lot to him. But, in the end, if his heart is elsewhere and he decides to make spending more time with his family a priority, he could walk away from the game as an all-time great.

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