Tuesday 18th December 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Dwyane Wade at Peace with Unexpected Career Arc That Led Him From Heat, to Bulls, Then to Cavaliers

Dwyane Wade at Peace with Unexpected Career Arc That Led Him From Heat, to Bulls, Then to Cavaliers

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade isn’t sweating the recent twist and turns his NBA career has taken.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers facing off against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, these past couple days have no doubt incited some level of reflection in the shooting guard. He spent his first 13 years in the NBA with the Heat. And then, poof! Just like, last summer, he was gone—off to the Chicago Bulls for a contract the only franchise he ever knew wouldn’t give him.

That move, though, could at least be sold as Wade going home. He was born in Chicago. He attended high school at Richards in Oak Lawn, Illinois. He flirted with the Bulls during his 2010 free agency. It was weird seeing him leave Miami for Chicago after three championships, but it wasn’t unfathomable.

And yet, his stay with the Bulls only lasted a year. His new team initiated a rebuild, trading Jimmy Butler, and suddenly he was out of place. Then, just like that, he was gone again. And this time he landed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold no special place in his heart, other than the fact they employ LeBron James, one of his best friends.

This is what Wade’s career has come to: buddying-up and ring-chasing and further distancing himself from his Heat legacy—not in a bad way, but in a we’ve-both-moved-on-even-though-we-weren’t-necessarily-supposed-to sort of way. And Wade, for his part, is okay with it. He said as much before the Cavaliers dispatched the Heat at Quickens Loan Arena, per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman:

Dwyane Wade never envisioned it playing out like this, on his third team in as many seasons after spending his first 13 with the Miami Heat. But he said Tuesday he is at peace with his career arc, including this current run with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It’s different,” the Heat’s all-time scoring leader said before facing the Heat at Quicken Loans Arena. “Obviously, you don’t know what’s going to happen from day to day. This career path we all chose in the NBA, you just don’t know what’s going to happen with it. For me, I’m OK and I’m content with what I’ve done for 13 years. Did I think it was gonna shake out this way? No. But I’m not sitting here crying about it neither.”
It’ll be interesting to see where Wade goes from here. Though he also said he’ll approach retirement on a year-to-year basis, it’s difficult to imagine him walking away in the very near future. And while he could end up back in Cleveland next year, his return hinges on LeBron’s own free-agency decision.
What happens if James goes elsewhere? Will Wade follow him? Will he latch onto another contender? Is he really about to play for the fourth team of his career when, for so long, it seemed as if he’d only rep one? Could he maybe wind up back with the Heat? It’s hard to say right now, yet at the same time, the fact we’re here, talking about this at all, says a great deal itself.

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