Miami Heat fans still love Dwyane Wade. Wade received a standing ovation on Thursday night as he returned to Miami for the first time since leaving the Heat for the Chicago Bulls in free agency. Fans held up signs in support and thanked him for his 13 years with the team.
The Heat also honored him with this in-game video:
Wade is the greatest player in Heat franchise history. He won Finals MVP as a 24-year-old in 2006 by carrying Miami past the Dallas Mavericks in six games with gaudy averages of 34.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He continued his legacy by recruiting friends LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami in 2010, where the trio would go to the NBA Finals four straight years and win two championships.
Wade’s decision to leave for the Bulls this summer sent shockwaves around the league. Wade had taken pay cuts for years to win titles in Miami, but Pat Riley refused to commit to him long-term as a 34-year-old.
It’s clear from Wade’s ovation that Heat fans haven’t forgotten all he’s done for the franchise. Now you can bet Dwyane Wade wants to win this game.