Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley don’t talk anymore.
Sure, the two spent the last 13 years with the Miami Heat and won two championships together, but their relationship met a bitter – and public – end over the summer, as Wade ultimately chose to leave in favor of his hometown Chicago Bulls.
Wade’s remained in contact with friends in South Beach – except for one.
“I’ve kept in touch from everybody there besides Pat. From the owners on down,” the 34-year-old shooting guard told Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago on Monday night. “It’s nothing but respect, and I have no hard feelings. I understand what Pat is, he’s a competitor. I’ve been knowing him for 13 years so I expect no different.
“People might not believe me, but I have no hard feelings toward Pat. Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen, everything happens for a reason, so I’m fine.”
Wade understood that, but didn’t appreciate management’s lack of communication, especially after he sacrificed millions to contend through the years and became the franchise’s all-time leader in points, free throws, assists, steals, win shares, games, and minutes played, among others.
“When you (give) respect, that’s what you get back,” he said. “I’ve given nothing but respect. I feel like a lot of things in this world and this league are mishandled from the notion of communication.
“At the end of the day, I talked to those guys and I told them, ‘It’s free agency. I understand y’all have a job to do, and I have a job to do as well.’ I let it be known I was going to be a free agent and I wasn’t waiting by the phone for them to call me.”
It was reported that Miami initially offered Wade a deal worth $ 10 million per year – laughable, considering both his contributions to the club and the money thrown around the NBA this summer with the cap ballooning.
The organization eventually doubled that offer to $ 40 million over two years, but at that point, the 12-time All-Star’s mind was already made. After spending his whole career in Miami, Wade was ready to move on and let the team president make the calls.
“It’s (Riley’s) show. For the most part, he’s the one who’s always there. The players come and go,” Wade said, laughing.
Still, if he runs into Riley at American Airlines Arena on Thursday night when he makes his first visit as a Bull, he’ll be cordial.
“Life is too short to be holding grudges. At the end of the day, Pat has helped me become a very rich man,” Wade said. “Me and Pat have won championships together. We’ve both helped each other’s legacies. I love that guy. I know how he is. He’s stubborn just like I am.”