By: Meshach Sullivan, Forward Times Intern
Future NBA Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade will be taking his talents to his hometown of Chicago and playing with the Bulls.
This is a momentous occasion for Dwyane Wade and the Chicago Bulls.
First, for the Bulls, they are able to get another hometown hero to join their team; days after Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks. The Bulls will also be in a position to make the playoffs once again, after missing it last season. They have also been able to build a reputable team after losing three starters in this year’s offseason. The new big three will include Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and of course, Wade.
Wade choosing to return to the place where he grew up means so much to him.
“I’m excited to go back to a place I have always envisioned myself playing basketball,” said Wade. “You know being a kid growing up, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls was the team for us and I’ve always envisioned myself being in the backyard with a Bulls jersey on. I always envisioned Dwyane Wade’s name being called in the United Center.”
Wade and his former team, the Miami Heat, could not come to agreement on contract terms, which led him to start looking to take his talents to different teams, such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets.
According to sources, Wade agreed to a two-year, $47.5 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, but has yet to sign the new deal.
Wade hoped to stay with the Miami Heat, wanting to feel appreciated for the pay cuts he had taken throughout the years, and for helping bring LeBron James and Chris Bosh to South Beach.
“Relationships are more important,” Wade tweeted during the contract negotiations.
Pat Riley, the team president of the Heat, and Wade were not on the same page. It was also said that Riley never called Wade during the free agency period. Wade wanted to stay in Miami, but did not believe Riley and the Miami Heat would give him the money next year, and believed they would give the money to future free agents like Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin instead.
The Miami Heat organization and the fans are going to miss a player with such high character as Wade. This is not like a Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City or a LeBron James leaving Cleveland type of situation. Wade had no other decision but to leave the Miami Heat and his former teammates understood that.
“It’s tough,” said Josh Richardson. “He was a great leader. A great mentor for us. He gave us a lot to learn.”
Wade was born on the south side of Chicago on January 17, 1982. After birth, Wade’s parents separated and he started to stay with his mother. When Wade turned eight years old he went to stay with his dad, who stayed in a better neighborhood with less crime. Wade played high school basketball at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois. By his senior season, Wade became one of the top basketball athletes in the Chicago area, and was able to get a scholarship to play at Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Time will tell if Wade makes an expected impact with the Bulls, once he signs his new contract.
Wade will have a lot to prove, especially to many members of the Chicago media, who are not impressed with his coming back home, with one headline in the sports section of the Chicago Tribune reading, “Plan A(ARP).”