Former Miami Herald intern Rohan Nadkarni, now of Sports Illustrated's The Crossover, got a chance to sit down with Dwyane Wade for a long interview before the start of Bulls training camp.
Here a few of the excerpts from the interview when Wade was asked specifically about the Miami Heat:
RN: What was the hardest conversation you had to have when you decided to leave Miami?
Wade: "There really wasn’t no hard conversations I had. I told my wife first, “This is what I’m thinking. How do you feel about it?” I posed it as a question more so than this is what we’re doing. [Laughs] She was supportive. My kids knew along the process, I’m very open with my kids, they knew along the process what I was thinking and there was a chance we may not be in Miami. I really didn’t have to have a hard conversation. Obviously I had to reach out to the Miami Heat organization, and talk to Nick Arison—because Micky Arison wasn’t available—and I had to have that conversation. But it really wasn’t hard. Because this is my career, and this is what I wanted to do. The hardest part was just saying it, and making a decision. I have a home in Miami and built everything there, my life was running like this [snaps fingers] and then I uprooted my family. That was the hardest thing more so than telling anyone where I wanted to play basketball."
RN: Do you remember the moment you decided you were leaving the Heat?
Wade: Yeah, I do. I had just left the meeting with the Heat and wound up going to get some pizza because I knew I had a long night in front of me. Me and my business manager stopped off and got some pizza, and I got back to the hotel and my mind was racing. I was sitting in my manager’s room, and I was thinking about this moment, this decision. I knew that Miami wanted me to make a decision by midnight that night, and I start saying, “Who am I making this decision for?” Once I realized I was making this decision for me, I wanted to be selfish for once. You put yourself in a position where you’re always sacrificing for other people—and not bad sacrifices, great sacrifices, we won championships and did a lot of amazing things—but you're always doing things for the good of others as well. This time I said, “You know what? It’s okay to be selfish.” And it started going through my mind, “Go home, go to Chicago. Do what you’ve always wanted to do.” And I just said it out loud. When I said it out loud that’s when it became real. My agent was like, “Are you sure? Are you sure this is what you want to do?” From there it just became about the business side, the Bulls obviously had to do certain things to get me here. I was waiting by the phone for like an hour, it was the longest hour ever. Then the media gets a hold of it, my phone starts blowing up, and I was like, “Whoa, this is happening.” But all in all, I was happy. I was happy with my decision to do what I wanted to do."
RN: It seems like there was a breakdown in communication when LeBron left Miami, when you left, and now with Chris Bosh. Is there any awkwardness there between you and the organization because of how those things went down?
Wade: "I have a lot of people in that organization I’m still in communication with because they’re friends or they’re family. You know, it’s a business hat that people have to put on. And I’m a businessman so I understand it. From a standpoint of relationships that I’ve built, the real relationships will stand the test of anything. At the top of the chain, they have a business to run. And it’s their job to run it any way they want to. My business is myself and it’s my job to look out for me. I had 13 great years in Miami. I have no ill will toward the organization. I wish them nothing but success in their future. But right now, it’s what’s best for me. It’s unfortunate that a lot of stuff played out in media, whether it was right or it was wrong, but at the end of the day, like I said, I have no ill will. They drafted me, they gave me an opportunity to live my dream out. I thank them for putting me on that platform to go out and try to be great."
RN: Will you ever play another game for the Miami Heat?
Wade: "I don’t know. I never thought I would not be there. At this point in my career, I’ve been asked that, and it’s not a focus of mine. I’m happy where I am. I gave Miami everything I had for 13 years. The years I have left, hopefully I can give as much to Chicago. You never know what the future holds so you never want to say yes or no. Anything is possible. But, I’m cool right now. I’m good."