Chicago Bulls: Does Dwyane Wade Miss The Miami Heat?

NBA superstar Dwyane Wade may have joined the Chicago Bulls this summer, but his heart still belongs in South Beach.

Last offseason, NBA legend Dwyane Wade did the unthinkable: he did not re-sign with the Miami Heat, A team that he called home since he was drafted by president Pat Riley and company in 2003. An organization that he almost immediately became the face of.

A franchise that was essentially his.

However, for one reason or another, things went haywire between the Heat and Wade this summer. Some say it was all due to Riley not prioritizing the star, focusing too much on re-signing Hassan Whiteside and trying to “land a whale” in Kevin Durant.

Others argue it was about money, with Wade having taken several pay cuts in the past in order to play alongside LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

But regardless of what exactly the issue was, Wade made his decision: he would be signing with the Chicago Bulls on a two-year, $47 million deal that includes a player option for the 2017-18 season.

The basketball world was stunned. Heat Nation was crushed. And Bulls fans were … well, sort of split.

While many Chicagoans did seem delighted at the prospect of Wade joining their team, especially alongside Jimmy Butler, there were others who called him old, washed-up, a waste of a good contract.

(Yes, even despite Wade averaging 19.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game last year with Miami.)

Wade paid no attention to the chatter, though, diving right into the new chapter of his career.

He expressed excitement in having both Butler and Rajon Rondo as teammates, even calling Rondo the best point guard he had ever played with (Goran Dragic is certainly having the last laugh about that one). Said he was glad to finally be returning back to his hometown.

Made it a goal to not only help the Bulls reach success during his time there, but mentor the younger guys for the future as well.

All in all, he seemed totally committed to the organization.

Lately though, the 35-year-old seems nostalgic.

(Just as Miami went on their 13-game winning streak, no less.)

Mentioning his old team on multiple occasions.

For example, last week as Chicago beat the Sacramento Kings 112-107, Wade could not help but compare the victory to the Heat’s run.

“We’ve been playing good basketball; not playing Miami basketball; they’ve won 11 straight, but we’ve been playing good basketball.”

Good basketball as defined by a 26-29 record as of Monday morning, falling to seventh in the Eastern Conference. With Three Alphas. As a part of an organization that twice three-peated as champions.

Wade himself is not having a bad season.

Averaging 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest, the veteran is actually playing solid basketball on a much more consistent basis than many may have predicted.

But the same cannot be said about the Bulls as a unit. And what is worse, is how much off-court drama has come out of the organization already so far this year.

So it is no wonder that Wade just recently came out and said the Heat will always be his organization.

“I think it’s still there. Like, there’s times where in my mind, if I look at the schedule and if I see the Heat is playing someone, say, ‘Heat versus Denver,’ I’m like, ‘Dang, we got Denver?’ It’s in my mind. I mean, 13 years. And it’s not even just me, it’s people around me. ‘Hey, man, you coming to the city?’ I’m like, ‘Uh, no, that’s probably the Heat. The Bulls are somewhere else.’ “

Ouch.

But can you really blame him?

Aside from how toxic of an environment Chicago has unfortunately become, Miami is all that Wade has ever known. It is where he made his debut into the league. Where he came into his own. Where he blossomed into a superstar.

There are still definitely wounds to heal, however.

“I love Pat and I know he loves me. The fact that we didn’t talk, that hurt. And that was my deciding factor. It wasn’t about the Arison family, I know they love me and I know they wanted me there. I know Spo wanted me there. I know Udonis and those guys. But at the end of the day, I didn’t hear from the guy I needed to.”

And it can be said with utmost certainty that Riley too, wishes things went down differently.

The good news is, there is always time for Wade to return to where he belongs. After all, he has not missed a beat when it comes to Miami Heat basketball.

“Yes, I follow the Heat. I watch all their games. I’m checking up on them because at the end of the day, it’s always going to be a part of me.”

Sure, there are plenty of things that would factor into Wade re-joining the Heat. First and foremost being rebuilding a relationship with Riley. But there is also his contract to consider. And Miami having to make some moves to clear their own cap space.

However, stranger things have taken place.

This is the NBA, after all.

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