Prior to the Miami Heat’s victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, Dwyane Wade admitted he has no idea whether he’ll return for a 16th NBA season in 2018-19.
Here are his comments, via the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson:
“I don’t know. I have told everybody around me that I am taking it after this season and go from there. It’s the first year I’ve ever went into the summer with that mind-set. I always went into it as a free agent or opting out of a deal to get another deal. This is the first summer I can say I’m just going into the summer and see how I feel and see the position this organization is in and go from there. I’m not really concerned with it, honestly. I’m cool with whatever I decide to do. It will be my decision.”
He also went on to say that part of his decision will entail measuring his desire to continue balling at all:
Definitely,” he said. “You definitely have to check that. A lot of things go into it. Do you want to put that same grind in again? As you get older, it’s a different kind of grind to get ready for games, to get your body ready. [And] can you mentally go through another year and give it your all and not be checked out in the middle of that season?
“[Udonis Haslem] always talked about, as you get older, you take it year by year. But this is the first summer that I will go into the summer and say I ain’t got much hair left, but I’m going to let my hair down and look at everything as a whole, my family and basketball. Being back here helps that situation for me, makes the decision even easier since now that I’m back already. And sit down with Pat [Riley] and Micky [Arison] and everybody and see what’s best for me and go from there.”
Wade’s comments are candid, and a reminder to us all of how long he’s been around. Yes, 15 seasons sounds like a lot. At the same time, you look and see that he’s 36 years old, and it kind of takes you by surprise. Has it really been that long since he entered the NBA in 2003? Is he really this old?
Yes, and yes.
The Heat’s situation only complicates matters. Wade has essentially said this is it for him. He isn’t playing anywhere else. Would he return to a Heat squad that, in all likelihood, still won’t be built to play deep into the postseason? Would he consider reneging on his words if LeBron James joins forces with Chris Paul on the Houston Rockets and offers a chance for 75 percent of the Banana Boat crew to play together?
Wade has a lot to think about entering this summer. For now, though, his focus lies with ensuring the Heat don’t cede postseason ground to the Charlotte Hornet or Detroit Pistons.
On that note, here’s a clip of him hitting the game-winner against the Sixers on Monday. Seriously:
Spo said it.
Wade said it.
"It's Time." pic.twitter.com/gezqWqNjFG
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 28, 2018
Based on this, it sure looks like Wade has something left to give, doesn’t it?