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Dwyane Wade following well-worn path as franchise icon joining a new team

Miami Heat Victory Parade And Rally

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 25: Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat looks on during a celebration parade for the 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

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Dwyane Wade is the best player in Miami Heat history.

LeBron James hit a higher peak, but he didn’t accomplish nearly as much in four years as Wade did in 13. Shaquille O’Neal spent even less time than LeBron in Miami and was too far into his decline to earn the title. Alonzo Mourning never reached Wade’s heights in top-end performance, longevity or playoff success with Heat.

Wade has defined the franchise since he led Miami to the 2006 title. Recruiting LeBron and Chris Bosh to the Heat and winning championships in 2012 and 2013 only further cemented Wade’s Heat legacy.

And now he’s playing for a new team.

Wade, who agreed to terms with the Bulls, grew up in Chicago and said he always envisioned himself in a Bulls jersey. For the rest of us, it’ll be a shocking sight.

There’s a history of great players who’ve established such a strong identity with one team then played for another, though. Here are players who’ve made at least eight All-Star appearances with their first NBA team then switched teams:

PlayerFirst teamAll-Star berths with first teamNext team(s)
Karl MaloneUtah Jazz14Los Angeles Lakers
Bob CousyBoston Celtics13Cincinnati Royals
Michael JordanChicago Bulls12Washington Wizards
Hakeem OlajuwonHouston Rockets12Toronto Raptors
Patrick EwingNew York Knicks11Seattle SuperSonics, Orlando Magic
Dwyane WadeMiami Heat10Chicago Bulls
Paul PierceBoston Celtics10Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers
Kevin GarnettMinnesota Timberwolves10Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Minnesota Timberwolves
Oscar RobertsonCincinnati Royals10Milwaukee Bucks
Gary PaytonSeattle SuperSonics9Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat
George GervinSan Antonio Spurs9Chicago Bulls
Clyde DrexlerPortland Trail Blazers8Houston Rockets
Dave CowensBoston Celtics8Milwaukee Bucks

Hakeem Olajuwon with the Raptors and Patrick Ewing with the Sonics and Magic are common comparisons, but this doesn’t always go so badly. Wade is probably too old to match Oscar Robertson’s success with the Bucks, but Clyde Drexler with the Rockets is a reasonable best-case scenario.

Either way, the odds are strongly against us remembering Wade as something other than a Heat great who spent a couple late years elsewhere. No matter how it seems today, his Miami connection is that strong.