Seeing Dwyane Wade Celebrated Should Remind Heat Fans of Their Luck

Photo by George Martinez
This past weekend, the Dwyane Wade "One Last Dance" tour stopped in familiar places for the Heat's soon-to-be-retired three-time champion. While Wade has been honored in almost every city he's visited this season, this past weekend was special. The guard checked off a couple of significant boxes. Stops in Chicago and Milwaukee — places that meant a lot to Wade as he groomed his game before arriving in Miami in 2003 — were undoubtedly a highlight of his final season.

Watching the two cities besides Miami most linked to Wade celebrating his career reminded us how lucky we've been to have Wade as an adopted son. Now more than ever is the time to reflect on and appreciate that.

You probably think you understand. You may feel you can't possibly thank him anymore. You don't get it.

On Saturday night, the Heat took on Wade's hometown Chicago Bulls. In what was likely the last game Wade will play in the Windy City, the Heat ass-kicked the Bulls, 117-103. While the win moved the team back to a .500 record on the season at 22-22, more newsworthy and important was the love Wade was shown.

Both the Chicago fans and team were more than accommodating. It was a glimpse into why Wade left Miami to play for the Bulls two-plus years ago. 
On Sunday, Wade stopped in Milwaukee to visit Marquette University. He didn't know his kids and wife, Gabrielle Union, would be on hand to celebrate his career. Wade reminisced about his three seasons at the school, how his son was visiting the area for the first time since he was born there, and how thankful he was that the school took a chance on a young kid from Chicago.

The stop at Marquette seemed different. Wade has made others — and Chicago is his home — but there is something about one's connection to college. Wade made it clear he owes much of his game, and character, to his years at Marquette.

Watching Wade celebrated by Clippers fans in Los Angeles or Knicks fans in New York is one thing, but seeing him back in the Midwest was quite another. People were crying in the stands. The look on Wade's face and the tone in his voice were powerful. This weekend truly felt like the beginning of the end as the season heads into its final days.

Miami is lucky. Seeing Wade in these cities reminded us of that. In a season filled with goodbyes, this weekend in Chicago and Milwaukee made Heat fans remember how fortunate they've been with Flash.