After spending the first 13 years of his career in South Beach with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade decided to leave the only NBA franchise he's ever known when he agreed to a two-year, $47 million contact with the Bulls earlier this week.
Before giving the Bulls his verbal commitment, there were persistent rumors that Wade was at odds with Heat team president Pat Riley, which played a major role in his decision to leave the organization.
Wade cleared the air regarding his relationship with Riley when speaking to the media at his Youth Skills Camp in Miami on Saturday.
"There's going to be a lot of stuff that's said about me and Pat," Wade said via the Sun Sentinel. "First and foremost, I love Pat Riley. He's been someone who has been a figurehead in my life since I got drafted here at 21. But at the same time, he has a job to do. He has a different hat to wear. That hat sometimes is not to be my best friend. That hat is to be the president of the organization, and to be a businessman. And it sucks.
"Because you love somebody so well, you guys love each other, but the business side comes out," Wade said. "You know? And we have to deal with that. I'm not saying we've hugged and cried and shared tears at this moment. But I love Pat and I will always love Pat. And I know he feels the same way about me."
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Wade also talked about how tough the decision was to ultimately leave Miami and how he wishes he had another month to make it.
"I'm trying to get used to the idea," Wade said. "I'm trying to get used to the idea of not being here.
"This was not an easy decision for me. I wish I had another month to make it," Wade said via Miami Herald's Ethan J. Skolnick.
The Bulls have not announced the Wade signing and can't speak about it until the deal becomes official. Skolnick notes that Wade's introduction in Chicago won't happen until the end of the month when he returns from China.