Dwyane Wade is now a member of the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat team president Pat Riley is still in shock.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday, Riley made his first public comments since Wade departed Miami for his hometown of Chicago. Riley expressed regret for personally not doing more to get Wade to re-sign with the Heat and basically put the All-Star guard’s departure squarely on his own shoulders.
From the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman:
On Dwyane Wade leaving in free agency for the Chicago Bulls after failing to reach an agreement with the Heat: “What happened with Dwyane, floored me. I’m not trying to fall on the sword for anybody. I have great regret that I didn’t immerse myself in the middle of it.
“I’m gonna miss what I might have had planned for him and his future and how I saw the end going for him.
“My responsibility was to make it happen.
“Dwyane left and the buck really stops here.
“There will always be a key under the mat. I just hope it doesn’t get too rusty.
“It’s not going to be the same without him.”
“I’ve always been reaching to get him another guy, especially after [LeBron James] left, to help him win.
“I haven’t spoken to Dwyane yet. I’ve been crafting a very long e-mail to him. I’m going to send it when it’s finished.”
Riley said he wanted to make sure Wade got paid, “but not at the expense of paralyzing our chance to win.”
The last quote is interesting as it shows that Riley truly believed that Wade would be just fine with accepting less money (yet again), because it would allow the Heat to add more talented complimentary pieces. But Wade essentially called Riley’s bluff and left. And now Riley and the Heat are left scrambling to recover from the loss of a franchise superstar.
Riley clearly underestimated Wade here. He believed their relationship would be enough to get Wade to re-sign but that now proved to be foolish thinking. Wade’s leaving though, seems to have personally impacted Riley, so much so that he can’t even call the All-Star guard and is instead “crafting a very long e-mail.”
Wade has no hard feelings though but their relationship has forever been changed. Something which Riley will likely lament for quite some time.
Courtesy: CBS Sports