There was a moment Saturday morning during Dwyane Wade's final good-bye event here in Coconut Grove that you genuinely felt the love the 12-time All-Star has for Udonis Haslem.
"UD has been by my side for 13 years. Listen you know how we are. We are macho men. So we don't say a lot of stuff to each other that we say to others. But I love that man," Wade said at his first annual six-mile CommUNITY Bike Ride event in Coconut Grove.
"One of the hardest things about me leaving this city was that I wasn't going to be playing with UD anymore, that I wasn't going to be in the same locker room with him. That was the hardest decision for me.
"Like we always say 'Blood couldn't make us any closer.' I appreciate this guy for all the fines he took for sticking up for me. If I scored 20,000 points I'll give him 10,000 for the screens he set for me to get there. I did the rest. But he did the beginning part of it. This is just mutual respect. This is a brother. I made a promise to him that we were going to finish our career together. As of now, I didn't hold up my end of the bargain. So I've got to make it up to him eventually. But this is my brother man. And I love this guy."
Haslem was the only former Heat teammate at Saturday's event -- the last Wade will have in Miami before heading to Chicago to begin playing with the Bulls. While Heat fans are still heartbroken over Wade's departure, it's clear Wade hasn't completely gotten over the breakup either.
More than anything, though, he's going to miss the city, his multi-million dollar water front home and Haslem, who broke into the league with him back in 2003.
"You know that song there's level to this, there's going to be levels to this," Wade said. "It's not an overnight thing. I talked to Chicago and they understand that. I'm trying to get adjusted to it. I've been in one NBA city for 13 years in my career. It's different. But I'm a guy who is a fast learner. I am going back to familiar territory in the sense of my family is in Chicago. But it's going to be different. But I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my life and it starts in a bout a week and a half. I'm excited. It's my 14th year in my career. That's one thing I always told myself: as long as I'm excited to keep playing this game and I'm excited to go in the gym and work out and keep doing all the things I need to do I'm going to keep going. I have excitement and I just want to keep going."
Wade wants to keep going for now. So does Haslem. And if there's a chance they could reunite one day they'd both love it.
"Sometimes people say that blood is thicker than water. But with me and this guy it's not about blood. It's about the blood we put in, the sacrifices we put in and everything we went through together," said Haslem, who spent a lot of time with Wade this summer, traveling to as far as China with him.
"I really can't say much. One thing is when you have a real relationship with somebody you support them through thick and thin. He's done a lot for this city, he's done a lot of me, so we appreciate him. No matter where he is and where he goes we'll continue to support him because we're family."
So is there a realistic chance Haslem and Wade could be reunited?
"I'm going to damn sure try," Haslem told me. "I mean, I don't know. I guess I've got to wait until next summer to see how that goes. But, I never give up without a fight. So there's ain't no time to start now."
Would Haslem consider leaving the Heat to do so?
"I didn't say that," Haslem said. "I was thinking more him of him coming here. I never said that. I won't ever say that. When I said play with him again, I never said leave.
"He's trying to sell his house down here. I might just buy it and hold it for him."
It's hard to imagine how Wade could end up back in a Heat uniform, though, at this point. He and Pat Riley still haven't communicated since Wade left. And that was more than two months ago.
I asked Wade if he had received that carefully, crafted email Riley said he was going to send him.
"That's the funny thing about phones -- spell check sometimes mess it up," Wade said. "I haven't received it yet. But I'm sure it's coming."