Dwyane Wade Admits Pat Riley Was Deciding Factor in Decision to Leave Miami, ‘I Didn’t Hear From The Guy I Needed To’

Credit: (AP/Lynne Sladky)

Dwyane Wade Admits Pat Riley Was Deciding Factor in Decision to Leave Miami, ‘I Didn’t Hear From The Guy I Needed To’


Everybody thought Dwyane Wade would be a Miami Heat player for life—he helped bring three championships to the city and is considered the franchise’s greatest son.

Wade’s thoughts of departure in the summer of 2016 were unexpected, but the 35-year-old veteran had the right to be irritated with the Heat organization after contract negotiations were far apart. On July 6, 2016, Wade made a decision to return home to Chicago and become apart of the Chicago Bulls, leaving Pat Riley and stunned fans in awe.

At the time, Dwyane Wade’s reason for his exit was to return home like former Heat teammate and star forward LeBron James did with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It may be true, but in a recent interview on Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Vertical Podcast with Woj, Wade admitted Miami Heat owner Pat Riley’s decision to leave him hanging all summer on contract talks left the three-time champion fed up.


“I did feel at the end of the day it’s Micky Arison’s team but it’s Pat [Riley’s] show,” Wade said. “I love Pat and I know he loves me. The fact that we didn’t talk, that hurt. That was my deciding factor when it came down to the end of the day and he didn’t show he wanted me there. I know the Arison family loved me and wanted me there. I know [head coach Erik Spoelstra] wanted me there.”

“At the end of the day, I didn’t hear from the guy I needed to. I expressed this to him later. That right there hurt me. It showed me… it was time to remove myself from the situation… It’s a business. But I’m human as well. I was waiting for him to step up and meet me, call me, do something, and it just never happened.”

“That’s not the Pat [Riley] I know. You can find me quicker than anybody. You want to be wanted. Everyone wants to be wanted. I didn’t feel like I was wanted from the person I wanted to be wanted from… I was waiting for him to step up and meet me somewhere. Call me. Do something. It just never happened. That’s not Pat. That’s not the Pat I know.”


Dwyane Wade also admitted his feelings were hurt when Miami was handing out max-contracts to teammates who weren’t as accomplished. Goran Dragic and Chris Bosh—two valuable players—received max-contract deals over Wade.


“All these players deserved the money they got,” Wade said. “My [anger] is not with any of them. I love all of those guys. Everyone is talking the future, the future. My future is running out. I’m still a good player in this league. I’m not asking for something I don’t think I deserve… Did my feelings get hurt some? Yes. At the end of the day, you have to make the best decision for you.”


Was it Dwyane Wade’s age and history of injuries that Pat Riley was concerned of? Possibly, but for all he has done for the franchise—playing thirteen seasons in Miami and leading the organization in career points, assists, minutes, steals, free-throws, and many other categories—the bottom line is Wade deserved the dollar amount he desired.



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