What a change a few years can make.
When Dwyane Wade left the Miami Heat for the Chicago Bulls as a free agent back in the summer of 2016, the lines of communication between Wade and the front office were fractured. Yet even in leaving South Florida, Wade always felt a kinship to the franchise and said in 2016 "I'll always be a Heat."
Wade's words came true last week when the Cleveland Cavaliers dealt him back to Miami in a move that pleased both player, his new team (Miami) and his most current one (Cleveland). The love-fest hasn't died down since then for Wade or Miami at large.
In an interview with ESPN’s Jorge Sedano, opened up about his love for the franchise, his timeline for retiring and much more. Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald transcribed portions of the ESPN interview, and has some telling quotes from Wade on a variety of topics (such as a LeBron James-Miami reunion this summer and more).
But most telling in the interview, perhaps, are Wade's thoughts on retirement (and getting a Kobe Bryant-like sendoff) and being back in Miami again:
How much longer does Wade think he will play?
“I don’t know,” Wade told Sedano in a sitdown interview Monday before the team left for Toronto. “I’ll leave it up to Coach Riley. He always told me I would play to 40. I was like ‘No. Never.’
“I’m 36. How did I even get here? Right now, I’m playing the game and I’m taking it year by year. I’m going into the summer seeing how I feel, especially from this point on and then we’ll see. But I’m here forever. This is Wade County forever. I will always be here. No matter where I go in the world I will be here. Until I get done playing the game of basketball, I’ll have on a Miami Heat jersey and I will enjoy this ride as long as it lasts.”
Wade said he spoke to Kobe Bryant about his farewell tour in 2016 and it’s not something that interests him at all.
“I'm not a narcissist like that,” Wade told Sedano. “I don’t think I need it. I’m not calling Kobe a narcissist. He earned it and needed that. But I can’t set out and say I want a farewell tour like Kobe Bryant. That’s not who I am. I don’t really talk about it, but when the time comes [to retire] I’ll announce it in my own D-Wade fashion. Hopefully I can move on and live on the memories from that point on.”
* * *