In a shocking plot twist, former Miami Heat Guard Dwyane Wade is reportedly leaving the city he called home for 13 years and is heading back to his hometown of Chicago, where he is said to be signing a two-year, $47 million deal with the Bulls. Though the move ends Wade’s longstanding career with the Heat, the bond between Wade and Miami is not lost, as Wade penned a heartfelt letter thanking the city of Miami for the years he’s spent there.
The letter begins with Wade stating that the move was “an extremely emotional and tough decision,” going on to thank the entire Heat organization, and he saves a special moment for Heat fans. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community,” penned Wade. “And especially #HEATNATION for all of their love and support over the years.”
He later adds that he is looking to the future and what his return to Chicago means to him. “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,” said Wade. “Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player.”
Wade had become synonymous with the Miami Heat and helped bring the city three NBA championship titles during his 13-year career, while also contributing to almost 10% of the Heat’s total points in franchise history. His move to the Chicago Bulls will also serve as only the second professional organization that Wade has played for since the start of his NBA career.
Check out Dwyane Wade’s letter in full below:
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. 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.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community and especially #HEATNATION for all of their love and support over the years. It has been truly incredible. I am deeply moved and appreciative of the positive messages from my fans expressing that they want what’s best for me and I know they will support my decision. The memories including championship parades and five conference titles are incredible moments we have shared that will always remain close to my heart as I begin the next chapter of my life.
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. 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.
I look forward to returning to my roots and to what lies ahead.
Much Love and Respect,
Photo Credit: Bloomberg