Bosh joins Wade in Miami, as they wait for LeBron
Dwyane Wade’s future was muddled and uncertain, until Chris Bosh
told him where he wanted to spend the next few years.
“I’m feeling Miami,” Bosh said.
Those three words were all Wade needed to make his decision.
Will they be enough to sway LeBron James to Miami? Stay
Ending months of speculation, Wade and Bosh announced Wednesday
that they’ll sign with Miami, two decisions that vault the Heat
back into the NBA championship picture and put them two-thirds of
the way to hitting one of the biggest trifectas in NBA history.
Wade, Bosh and James all have talked about playing together. On
Thursday night, James will say why that will or will not
“It’s over,” Wade said in an interview with The Associated
Press. “It’s not all over-over, but for me, it’s over.”
James can’t say that yet.
Wade told the Heat that for him to re-sign, the team had to add
either James or Bosh. For good measure, they might get both.
“It had to be one or the other,” Wade said in the AP
interview. “Of course, there’s a lot of talented players in this
league. But you want to look at players that complement my game,
and Chris and LeBron are two of those guys. I had a decision to
make. Chris had a decision to make. It wasn’t a lock that he would
come to Miami. So I had a lot to think about.”
James averaged 29.7 points for Cleveland last season, Wade
averaged 26.6 points for Miami and Bosh averaged career-bests of
24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds for Toronto.
They were the three kingpins of this long-hyped free-agent
market, a trio of All-Stars who came into the league together seven
years ago and structured their last contracts just to hit the open
market together this summer, the last under the current terms of
the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Now, the ball is in King James’ court.
“I expect us to compete for a championship,” Bosh told ESPN.
“I think both Dwyane and I, we both wanted an opportunity where
right away we would be competing. … We’re ready to sacrifice a
lot of things in order to do that. It’s not about the money. It’s
not about anything else except for winning. I’m a winner. Dwyane’s
a winner. We’re going to bring winning to Miami.”
That was Heat president Pat Riley’s plan.
Around the NBA, the immediate reaction was that Miami is poised
to be in the mix for the 2011 title.
“It just makes the East that much better,” Boston Celtics
coach Doc Rivers said in Orlando, Fla., where he was watching
summer league games.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was more succinct, lauding Bosh as
“one of the best forwards in basketball.”
“I think they’re instant contenders,” Van Gundy said. “I
don’t think there’s any doubt. They’re instant contenders to win an
Wade’s summer of change is now almost complete. He settled four
civil lawsuits stemming from failed business deals, finally
completed a long-awaited divorce and was awarded temporary custody
of his two sons. And the question he’d been hearing for years –
staying or going? – has an answer.
It wasn’t easy.
For Wade, the decision came down to Miami vs. Chicago, adopted
hometown vs. actual hometown.
The Bulls almost pulled it off, until Bosh said he was bullish
“The good part of this was controlling your own destiny,” Wade
told the AP. “It really meant a lot to me, and I’m sure if you ask
Chris or ask LeBron, they’d say the same. You have a say-so. You
can control the destiny of where and what’s best for you. And it’s
not many times in your life or your career if you’re going to have
that. This is it.”
Wade does not know what the terms of his contract will be (he
could receive around $126 million for six years but told AP he
would take less if necessary to make other deals work). Bosh
doesn’t have terms of his deal done either. It’s all contingent on
what James says Thursday night, and Wade insisted he knows nothing
about what the two-time MVP will say or where he’ll be saying it
“I won’t speak to him again until he makes his decision,” Wade
said in the AP interview. “And when it’s over, I will congratulate
The Heat still have only four players in the picture for this
coming season: Wade, Bosh, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers.
Miami is in discussions with several free agents, including Brendan
Haywood, Mike Miller, Raymond Felton and Udonis Haslem – whom Wade
has played with in all seven of his previous seasons.
The salary cap released for the 2010-11 season on Thursday was
just over $58 million, about $2 million more than teams expected,
and that extra money could likely be yet another free-agency edge
for the Heat.
“We’ll see what the best thing is for us to win,” Wade told
the AP. “I’m going to make a lot of money, no matter what happens.
I’ve been blessed. I’m not counting every dollar and every cent.
Let’s sit down, let’s see what the best thing is for us, for the
Miami came into free agency with what turned out to be roughly
$46 million of cap space, not including $16.5 million or so
earmarked for Wade, thanks to years of avoiding just about any deal
where money would have been committed for the 2010-11 season.
It was high-stakes poker, and Riley went all-in that he could
get something done to make Wade happy.
Citing league rules, the Heat couldn’t express their glee
Wednesday, since the NBA’s signing moratorium was ongoing.
Wade’s oldest son, however, isn’t bound by any restrictions.
Zaire Wade, 8, got woken by his father Wednesday with the news:
Daddy’s staying in Miami.
“For real? Cool,” Zaire replied.
Wade knew he made the right choice.
“I felt great this morning, waking up knowing I’ve got another
chapter behind me,” Wade told the AP. “Coming into the summer, I
knew that I had a court case here, court case there, custody, all
these things. Just took one step at a time, and this is another
step in the journey of where I wanted to go, forward, not
Associated Press Writer Antonio Gonzalez in Orlando, Fla.,