On Thursday we were treated to some more comments from Dwyane Wade that gives us additional comfort in believing that he is not leaving the Heat for another NBA team this offseason. Those comments came in an article in the Chicago Tribune, though I'm sure whoever was asking the questions wasn't very happy with the answers they got from Dwyane.
You can't really blame the Chicago newspaper for trying to get some answers from D-Wade, but I'm sure they weren't expecting him to not only defend his Miami Heat, but in the process also deliver a little jab to the Bulls Organization. Here is what Dwyane had to say:
"I think the biggest question that you think about has to be loyalty. I know one thing about Miami: It is a very loyal organization. I see what they do with their players when their players get done with the game of basketball... how loyal they are. I don't know about the Bulls."
"I see Michael Jordan is not there, Scottie Pippen is not there. You know, these guys are not a part. Things like that. So that is probably one of the biggest things for me, because I am a very loyal person.
It's just more proof of how high of an opinion Wade holds of the Heat and that there is no logical explanation that could explain why he would ever want to go play anywhere else. As to his comments about the Bulls, it wasn't that he was trying to deliberately take a shot at the franchise. He was just responding as best he could to a question about what matters most to him. Here is what Dwyane told the Sun Sentinel shortly after his original comments came out:
"I'm not taking shots at the Bulls, and the organization. I respect the organization; I respect every organization in the NBA. It's just that my opinion when the question was asked about what's most important to you, I said one of the most important things is loyalty. It's not that I'm taking shots at the Bulls, or I'm taking shots at any organization."
The Heat may still be a relatively young franchise at 22 years young, but everything they do regarding their current and former players, their fans and the surrounding communities is first class. The Heat has grown into a franchise that is a very appealing destination for anyone who is involved in basketball. From players, coaches and executives to the fans. If someone had the task of finding reasons why signing with the Heat was not a wise career decision, that person would have a very daunting task in front of them.
Getting back to D-Wade, he also got a lot of attention when he reiterated that he, Joe Johnson and LeBron James still plan to get together so the three could discuss their respective free agency and how they want to approach it. There is also talk that Chris Bosh could join the trio for their meeting. I'm sure that there may be some campaigning by the guys who already have an idea of where they want to play next season and beyond, but I've got a feeling that Wade will be explaining to his friends why its so special to be a part of the Heat family, and that whoever joins him down here will be setting themselves up for a very happy and fulfilling chapter to their careers. Said Wade:
"We've discussed it prematurely, at different times. [But] you don't know what guys are thinking and where they're going. I think we'll all sit down, and before one of us makes a decision, all of us will have spoken to each other and [listened to what everyone is] thinking."
"A lot of decisions [will be based on] what other players are willing to do and what other guys want to do. So it's not just a 'me' situation here. We all have to look and see what each other is thinking."
As to when this meeting is going down...
"I don't know the date. LeBron went through a very tough loss, so you've got to give guys time to get over things and get their schedules clear. But before July 1 we'll know what we're going to do and hopefully it's somewhere quiet."
In my mind this confirms what I've been figuring they would be doing all along...seeing out who is willing to play for a little less cash in order to be a part of something very very special. Considering this entire post has centered around what Dwyane Wade had to say on Thursday, I'll give him the final word:
"I understand that you have to have a great team, a great supporting cast around you. That's all I want. My ego is not that big...I just want to win."