For the first time in his career, Dwyane Wade will play in Miami on Thursday night but he wont be wearing a Heat jersey. Instead, he’ll be wearing a Bulls jersey.
Wade, of course, signed with Chicago in July. He was a 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion in Miami, but he and Pat Riley did not see eye-to-eye during contract negotiations this offseason.
What is the relationship between Riley and Wade like these days?
“It’s hard to say,” CBSSports.com NBA writer Ethan Skolnick said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “(Wade has) taken the high road publicly in the sense of talking about how he still loves Pat. He said that repeatedly, talking about how he understand that Riley is a competitor. That’s just the way he is. You’re either with him or against them. But this summer, they weren’t really communicating. The communication was going on with ownership here, but Pat wasn’t really intimately involved in the negotiations. He expressed regret about that later, but I’m not really sure still whether or not the Heat really wanted Dwyane back. There were ways to do it they really wanted to do it. They could have given him a third year. They could’ve tried to free up a little bit more money on a two-year deal, only that was complicated because they would have had to move players to do it.
“But what it came down to ultimately is Dwyane Wade is going on 35 years old,” Skolnick continued, “and a three-year deal when the Heat are sort of looking to reload with big-name players, it became complicated to commit that much money to Dwyane. And on the other hand, I understand Dwyane’s perspective entirely, which is that Dwyane felt like he sacrificed for the franchise repeatedly and he felt that he shouldn’t be put off to the corner and told to wait while the Heat pursued (Kevin) Durant and while the Heat locked up (Hassan) Whiteside. So I think fans are pretty split here on who they blame for the departure.”
In other Heat news, Skolnick believes that Chris Bosh’s days with Miami are numbered. Bosh, 32, has battled blood clots in recent years, and his career, sadly, could be over.
“You’ve got to find a doctor that’s going to clear him,” Skolnick said. “At this point, though, I don’t expect him to play for the Heat again. Will he play for someone else? Again, that’s more of a medical question.”