With Dwyane Wade set to return to Miami from Chicago this morning, the Miami Heat sent out a call via Twitter to all fans, gas stations, residences, warehouses, farmhouses, henhouses, outhouses, and doghouses in the area to meet D-Wade at Miami International Airport and show him some love. It was supposed to be a surprise rally of sorts, filled with cheering fans holding signs and wearing T-shirts pleading with Wade to stay in Miami rather than sign with the Chicago Bulls. It was going to be a glorious show of affection, something that would resonate in Wade's mind as he grappled with his big decision.
Could this be an omen of things to come? Or is it better that Wade actually missed the greeting? Because 50 people sounds more like an office barbecue than a rally to beg a superstar athlete to stay with his team. Either way, the next few days promise gut-wrenching intrigue as the reality that Miami could lose Wade sinks in.
The Heat blamed the airport fiasco on "bad information." It was believed Wade would arrive at a charter facility via a private jet. Instead, he arrived on a commercial flight at one of MIA's main terminals. We can only hope the folks involved in organizing the rally are not allowed anywhere near Pat Riley's offices when he presents his case to Wade and his agent.
Up till this weekend, it seemed as if Wade re-signing with Miami was a foregone conclusion and that his visits with other teams was just a formality. It was visions of sugarplums and Wade playing with LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Heat uniforms dancing in our heads. Then reports began to surface over the weekend that Wade is seriously considering signing with his hometown Bulls after he met with them for a second time on Friday with agent Henry Thomas in tow. A source told ESPN that Wade entered the meeting leaning toward making a commitment to the Bulls. Of course, he left the meeting without making said commitment but merely saying, "Things are getting really interesting," which really helps no one at this point.
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The main reason some observers are thinking Wade could be compelled to sign with Chicago might be family more than basketball. D-Wade's ex-wife and children live in Chicago. But the Bulls are also intriguing because they feature a better core of players for him to play with (at least, at the moment), including star point guard Derrick Rose who, incidentally, would've been a Heat member if the NBA didn't use its cockamamie lottery system to determine draft order. The Heat's fate could be determined by Wade's divorce and David Stern's balls. Fantastic.
Of course, the Heat can offer Wade more money than the Bulls, which could buy him a lot of plane tickets (and not the commercial-flight kind!) to and from Chicago. Of course this could all be a smokescreen.
Until then, all we can do is sit and wait.
We can also show our love for MV3 and express our desire to see him stay in Miami with rallies and signs and T-shirts and cheers. And for that, we await the next tweet from the Heat to tell us where he won't be so we can all show up and show said support to no one. Stay tuned!