Big news in free agency land, again. This time, it’s Dwyane Wade making headlines. Deets inside about his big move….
Dwyane Wade & wife Gabrielle Union are about to pack up their swimsuits and sunblock and jet to the midwest. D-Wade just signed a 2 year deal with the Chicago Bulls!
The announcement came in late this evening. The Miami Heat star, who has been with the team for his entire 13 year NBA career, was born and raised on the southside of Chicago. So it’s a homecoming story that will be told as soon as the season starts back.
As for how this shakeup went down, ESPN reports the Bulls started letting folks go off their roster all week to free up money under the salary cap so they could beat Miami’s offer. Miami and free agent Dwyane, who have had some ill-will toward each other this off season, met a couple times about his future with the team. Miami offered $40 million for two years. Chicago offered $47 million for two years. And here we are.
Interestingly, it seemed as though the Heat weren’t fighting to keep their star like Dwyane or his wife Gabby thought they should. They let another team beat their offer by just $7 million, a drop in the bucket in the big scheme of things.
Just last week, Gabby tweeted about waiting on a certain group of folks to call who hadn’t yet. Then Dwyane tweeted about relationships being super important.
“Miami dared a very proud man to go home, and that man’s best friend [LeBron James] just won a title by going home,” a source very close to the process told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
The 34-year-old married father of four told the world about his decision to go home to Chicago in a letter he penned for the Associated Press. Here’s a snippet:
“Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player,” Wade said in his letter. “My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from, and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game.”
D-Wade has won three championships with the Heat and been named NBA Finals MVP as well as landed an All-Star slot 12 times. Check out his full letter below:
This has been an extremely emotional and tough decision to come to. After 13 years, I have decided to embark on a new journey with the Chicago Bulls. This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family.
I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships. I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community and especially #HEATNATION for all of their love and support over the years. It has been truly incredible. I am deeply moved and appreciative of the positive messages from my fans expressing that they want what’s best for me and I know they will support my decision. The memories including championship parades and five conference titles are incredible moments we have shared that will always remain close to my heart as I begin the next chapter of my life.
Growing up in Robbins, Ill., I never dreamed that an NBA career could have even been possible and that one day I would wear a Chicago Bulls jersey. Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game. Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart.
I look forward to returning to my roots and to what lies ahead.
Much Love and Respect,