Dwyane Wade will be returning the Heat for his 16th season with intentions of retiring once the 2018-19 season is over.
He uploaded a video to YouTube on this decision to return for another year and explained his thought process.
The long-standing relationship between the Miami Heat franchise and Wade began on June 26, 2003, when the Heat drafted Wade with the 5th pick. He had a superb career in South Beach winning three championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013.
Wade’s resume also includes an All-Rookie First Team selection, Finals MVP honors in 2006, 12 All-Star Game appearances, NBA scoring champion in 2009, and All-Star MVP in 2010.
The end of Wade’s tenure in Miami ended sourly over a contract discrepancy with the team in 2016. The 2016-2017 season was the first year that “Flash” did not don a Miami Heat jersey. He wore a different red, white, and black that season, playing with his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls.
Following his time with the Bulls, he then signed a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to team up once again with LeBron James in the 2017-18 season, Wade and James were teammates from 2010 to 2014, to try to contend for another championship.
Halfway during the season, the Cavaliers scrapped part of the team and sent Wade back to Miami.
The Heat did make it to the first round of the playoffs and played the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami put up a fight against the 76ers early in the series, largely due to Wade’s presence, but Philadelphia prevailed 4-1 and moved onto the second round.
Following the Heat’s early postseason exit, Wade contemplated whether or not he wanted to retire or return for another season. Luckily, he is returning to play this upcoming season.
NBA fans will get the chance to show their appreciation of Wade during the 2018-19 season. Fans have loved Wade’s athleticism and ability to break down defenses with his inside game. At 36, Wade has not taken his foot off the gas so it will be a treat to see him still at his best this upcoming season.
Wade’s numbers from last season reflect that greatly. He averaged 12 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists during his time with the Heat in the second half of the season.
Wade returns to a Miami Heat team that plays with tough defense, a stellar offensive plan by Coach Eric Spoelstra, and a chip on the shoulder tenacity. This team has been thriving from the play of many role players and young players like Bam Adebayo, Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson.
Wade’s influence on the young guys will help them tremendously as Winslow and Richardson enter their fourth year while Adebayo will be a second-year player. He will also be of assistance to Dion Waiters who has a playing style somewhat similar playing style to Wade.
Coach Spoelstra has said that Wade has a “calming influence” on younger teammates. Wade expanded on this point in February with the Miami Herald. He said, “To be out there knowing that you can calm things down, that should give someone a little extra confidence.”
With this extra support from Wade this season, the Heat should look to be a competitive team once again in a wide-open eastern conference.
The Heat opens their season on the road against the Orlando Magic on October 17th. Their home opener will be on October 20th against the Charlotte Hornets.