It hasn’t been easy to get accustomed to watching Dwyane Wade play in a Chicago Bulls uniform. There’s no denying that. I mean...it’s been seven months, and some of us are still getting used to NOT hearing his name called in the starting lineup at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
For 13 seasons Wade WAS the Miami Heat. And whether its subconsciously grabbing his jersey to put on before the game, looking for his stats or highlights on HEAT.com, or thinking “Put Dwyane in!” when the guys could use a little cleaning up, I think it’s safe to say we’re not the only ones who still get a little caught up in that history.
On a podcast recorded with The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bulls guard Wade said the Heat “is always going to be my organization.”
"There's times where in my mind, if I look at the schedule and if I see the Heat is playing someone, say, Heat versus Denver,' I'm like, 'Dang, we got Denver?' It's in my mind. I mean, 13 years," he said. "And it's not even just me, it's people around me. ‘Hey, man, you coming to the city?' I'm like, 'Uh, no, that's probably the HEAT. The Bulls are somewhere else.'"
Heat fans gave Wade a warm welcome as he returned to the AmericanAirlines Arena on Nov. 10 suited up for the Bulls. For the amount of time he spent in Miami, and all that he did for the organization, anything but such a reception would have been surprising. And just like we check up on him, and still want to see him succeed, he does the same for the Heat.
"I look back at those 13 years and I just smile," he said. "It's hard to reflect while you're in it. But now that I'm out of those 13 years with the organization, I look back. I think people think that I want the Heat to do bad or people probably think that, 'Oh, he still follows the Heat?' Yes, I follow the Heat. I watch all their games.
"I'm checking up on them because at the end of the day, it's always going to be a part of me. Their organization is always going to be my organization in some form and some way because of what I was able to accomplish there and where my career stands. I want nothing but success for them."
Before Monday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said that bonds created go beyond the business of basketball.
"That's the human part of it," Spoelstra said, according to the Sun Sentinel. "You can't take that away from us, those are the memories that we'll remember, the relationships that you build. That's what makes it bigger than just a business, all those times and the memories."