Dwyane Wade’s divorce with the Miami Heat was one of the biggest stories of the off-season, and the three-time NBA champion revealed a surprising detail about how he came to his decision.
It’s not easy to move on from 13 years of clocking into the same job, but Wade did just that when he signed with the Chicago Bulls last summer. Returning home to Chicago certainly helped heal that wound, but Wade re-opened the topic in a podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
The most stunning revelation from Wade was his explanation as to how Pat Riley sealed his decision to leave Miami after looking like a lock to end his career in one jersey.
“I love Pat and I know he loves me,” Wade told Wojnarowski, as transcribed by Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “The fact that we didn’t talk, that hurt. That was my deciding factor when it came down to the end of the day and he didn’t show he wanted me there.”
“I didn’t hear from the guy I needed to. I expressed this to him later. That right there hurt me. It showed me … it was time to remove myself from the situation.”
Riley has long been considered a front office figure with immense credibility, most recently bringing together the LeBron James-led super team in Miami that’s now a distant memory.
The Heat have been focused on moving on from the “Big Three” era, so it’s easy to see how a 35-year-old guard with questionable knees doesn’t fit into the equation.
Still, it’s a disappointing way for things to turn out for both sides. That Wade is directly tying his decision to feeling slighted by Riley is a significant statement from one of the league’s superstars.
Is Wade being too sensitive over Pat Riley not courting him during free agency, or should he have been given the superstar treatment? Let us know in the comments!