MIAMI (WSVN) - Three-time champion Dwyane Wade spoke during a press conference Friday as a member of the Miami Heat once again.
Wade left the Heat in 2016 during free agency for the Chicago Bulls before leaving that team for Cleveland to play with LeBron James. After what seemed like a long two years for Heat fans, Heat president Pat Riley made a trade for the 12-time All-Star.
Wearing a T-shirt with “I feel like Flash” during Friday’s press conference, Wade explained how his South Florida return became a reality.
“About 11:45 I left my house, headed into the practice gym in Cleveland,” said Wade. “It was all day before we traveled, so I was gonna go in and get some work in. At about 12 o’clock I got a text from my agent, Leon Rose, that said, ‘Call me 911.’ I haven’t gotten a lot of ‘Call me 911s’ on trade deadline, so I know it was something.”
Wade added that he was shocked and “over-the-moon excited” when the trade was made.
“This is all a part of the story, man,” Wade said. “One day, we’ll look back and they will always talk about my Heat years when I retire. They might not mention the other ones, and that’s OK, but it’s just all a part of it.”
However, it wasn’t just Wade who was happy about his return.
“I’m happy as hell for D-Wade, he gets to go back home,” LeBron James said. “I think that’s how it should be. I’ve always felt like that’s where his heart and his mind was, and I think it’s gonna be great for him. I look forward to seeing the footage of him being announced tonight, back in Miami.”
Heat head coach Erick Spoelstra said moments like this do not happen often in the NBA.
“Moments that happen in this business … you don’t expect them all the time, but when they do happen, you realize this is awesome,” said Spoelstra. “Dwyane is a winner. Dwyane will find a way to fit in. He has proven over the course of his career that he can re-invent himself many times over.”
Wade re-joining the team is timely during their playoff push, but Spoelstra said, though he will be prepared to play at Friday night’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks, he will not be starting.
The Heat are currently in the middle of a five-game losing streak, struggling to stay playoff eligible.
Former teammates know Wade will add a spark.
“I know the gym’s gonna be nuts tonight, you know, especially when they introduce that guy back on the court. It’s gonna be crazy,” said Forward Josh Richardson.
“My eyes and heart [were] always here,” Wade said. “I just had a different zip code and a different jersey on my body, but who I am in the court and deep down inside was always here.”
Tip-off for the game between the Bucks and the Heat is at 8 p.m.
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