Dwyane Wade bolting for Chicago is Pat Riley’s biggest fuckup as Miami Heat president. If the franchise were one of team owner Micky Arison’s cruise ships, it would be one of those boats where everybody gets the shits from food poisoning.
Pat should have put some respect on Wade’s name. Instead, Riley started the free-agency period by lowballing the Heat’s all-time player in just about every category with a $10-million-a-year offer. Inside sources told me Riley’s initial offer was actually $2 million lower than what the media reported.
When Riley was unable to close the deal with Kevin Durant, all of a sudden the Heat had $20 million a year to give Wade. Yet the team was still $10 million short even though Wade — an NBA Finals MVP — has never been the highest-paid Heat player in his whole career. Wade did nothing but make sacrifices for the Heat. And Riley showed his gratitude by embarrassing Wade.
Once Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, Riley should have found a way to pay Wade whatever he wanted. Wade’s stock rose considerably once Durant was off the table. He was the only marquee free agent left. Wade is the reason people still filled the seats at the American Airlines Arena.
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Just like Michael Jordan made the Chicago Bulls champions and Kobe Bryant restored the Los Angeles Lakers to glory, Wade is the reason the Miami Heat became relevant and got to chase world titles.
The difference is that Wade still has some game left in him. Kobe could barely get on the court his last two years. In 2014, Riley pissed off LeBron James and gave him the motivation to go home to Cleveland and win a championship. Now the team president has let the greatest player to wear a Heat uniform return to his hometown as well.
Despite all of Riley’s talk about family, Wade knew there was no loyalty there. Why the fuck would he come back? It’s time to give Pat his pink slip.