With basketball season being over, Miami Heat fans were excited about the new season and formation of the stronger team. During the past months, there have been substantial moves of player around the NBA, contracts were signed, and new Miami basketball team created. Dwayne Wade is now the history of Miami Heat that brings sadness to many fans. The two had a relationship that lasted for over 13 successful years. Unfortunately, the link has now ended with Wade opting to join his hometown team of Chicago Bulls.
Although sporting teams excel by having a deep and almost telepathic bond between their players, they can relate by the charisma and talent of one player. A superstar brings a sense of hope and a belief that makes the team invincible. Even with less than three minutes left to the end of a game and with their team trailing, the players believe that they will win the game. More often than not, one of them scores the all-important goal or points. Dwayne Wade was usually the one who saved the game and became the hero of the day.
When the relationship between DWade and the Miami Heat was at its best, they were untouchable. Together, they took the team, the coaching staff, their supporters and the entire city to stratospheric heights. Every person in Miami had a bounce on their feet while savoring the success of Miami Heat, their favorite NBA team. The team naturally attracted many haters from beyond Miami, but who cared? They were on a roll. At the center of it all was Wade, a 12-time All-Star Player. Wade was also the public face of the franchise and led the team to three NBA titles. Even during the period, the team made five appearances at the finals. At his very best, Wade won the MVP in 2006. To understand the impact of Dwyane on the squad, one has to go through the statistics. He is Miami’s career leader in minutes, field goal attempts, games, field goals, assists, points, and steals. It is even more astonishing to learn that he is ranked second in blocked shots! These statistics reveal what a superbly talented athlete Wade is.
How it happened
The chain of events that seem to have led Wade to leave Miami Heat appears to have started when LeBron James left the team. Both were great players that enjoyed a close relationship, nurtured working together. When James left, the team was disappointed in Wade for supporting that decision. The Team President Pat Riley did not seem to take it well. However, they soon made amends, and things may go back to normal. It is notable that back in 2010, Chicago Bulls had unsuccessfully made attempted to lure Wade to their team. At that time Wade was too engrossed in winning, and there was a fantastic atmosphere at Miami Heat.
Wade, now 34 had an idea of leaving Miami at the back of his mind. During contract negotiations last year, there was a stalemate on the amount of money he would get. Eventually, Heat signed DWade to a one-year deal worth $20 million. During this year’s negotiations, Wade was reportedly offered $41 million on a two-year contract. He declined the offer and chose to take a $47 million 2-year deal with Chicago Bulls. Despite the best efforts of Pat Riley, it seems Wade had already made up his mind. He then wrote a heartfelt letter to his fans thanking them for their support over the years.
Behind the scenes motivations
A closer look at the turn of events reveals that there is more than meets the eye in the whole matter. Although Pat Riley sounded like he was sorry that Wade chose to leave, it did not escape the notice of analysts that departing was the most appropriate choice under the circumstances. The writing had always been on the wall with Wade’s performance gradually declining in the past few years. In the last season, he averaged about 19 points per game. His influence though was instrumental in the winning attitude within the team.
When Miami Heat did not make Wade a priority during the free agency period, he was naturally offended. When the team chose Kevin Durant and Hasan Whiteside ahead of Wade, it was the turning point in their relationship. When we talk about the monetary difference between the Chicago Bulls offers and the Miami Heat offer, was 6 million dollars, it is not a substantial amount for the caliber of athlete of Wade’s stature. He could have forsaken the money for the love of his team. But, the apparent snub was too much for him.
Is Dwyane Wade’s legacy intact?
The answer to the question whether Wade’s legacy is intact is a resounding yes. The fans might be disappointed that he chose to move to another team, but at the end of the day, they had their best days together. Every fan will relive the lifting of the NBA trophy for as long as they live. Whether one moves or not, such moments cannot be forgotten.
Impact of Wade’s move to the Miami economy
For the city of Miami, the loss of Wade hurts its fortunes. Many fans traveled from far and wide to watch DWade play and write history. The number of visitors coming to see Miami Heat play could reduce by a significantly. DWade was a sporting icon loved by Florida and beyond. At one point Miami-Dade named Miami-Wade County in honor of its favorite sporting hero. Because of Wade, many fans had purchased season tickets to ensure that they did not miss a game featuring their favorite star. The immediate impact is that single-game tickets sales will fall while many season ticket holders may not renew or may not be willing to pay the high prices they paid for the last season.
Just like his contribution to the team stands out, Wade’s jerseys remains one of the top sellers in the NBA. The fact that he did not change shirt numbers and cities throughout his entire career, earned him more to his adoring fans. The team will no doubt miss the shirt sales that made a notable contribution to its revenues. Every team needs the allure of a star power and with Wade leaving; Miami Heat does not have a standout star, something that will hurt its fortunes. The team’s TV ratings are likely to drop, and the number of commercials during the games might dip. Depressed revenue for the team is expected to have an impact on the economy of Miami because when the team earns more money, the cash flows within the local economy.
DWade is gone, but his legacy lives on, the euphoric moments will forever remain in the minds of Miami Heat fans that are proud to have had a relationship with him.