Since LeBron James decided to take his ‘talents to South Beach’ he has received a lot of criticism for leaving Cleveland. Is it fair? Yes, I can agree, but only to a certain extent. The way LeBron and the knuckleheads within his inner circle went about his free agency was ridiculous and made LeBron look bad, but if he is getting criticized, shouldn’t Dwyane Wade? D-Wade, the native son of Chicago, met with the Bulls twice during free agency only to eventually re-sign with the Heat. Wade was born in the city of Chicago, while LeBron was born in Akron, about forty miles south of Cleveland. That sounds like more of a slap in the face than what LeBron did. So, why such a big vendetta towards ‘King James’ and not ‘Flash’? Contrary to LeBron, Wade is a humble guy and was portrayed to be straight forward with the media. Whereas LeBron had to have his own primetime special just to announce he was going to do what we all speculated, sign with Miami. Maybe because LeBron is chasing his first title because he couldn’t do it on his own in Cleveland and seems to be an ‘all for me’ type guy?
Wade has proven to be a team player and has already won a NBA Championship, but the opportunity to win a few more with LeBron and Chris Bosh, along with what he has already established in Miami, was too hard to pass up. Athletes have a hard time juggling trying to be loyal to fans while at the same time looking out for themselves. I don’t blame either of them and we as fans have to realize the NBA is a business. They did what they felt was the best thing for them and their families. They have to get what they can while they can before they are chewed up and spit out by the corporate dragon the NBA has become. Dwyane Wade joined WSCR in Chicago to talk about why he decided to re-sign with the Heat instead of signing with the Bulls, whether he is surprised by the backlash LeBron James has received since signing with Miami, why he had a 2nd meeting with the Bulls and what happened during that meeting to make him walk away thinking it wasn’t the right fit.
Why he feels the need to give back to the city of Chicago through community work even though he decided to re-sign with the Heat:
“First of all this is my 3rd year doing the event here in Chicago. The reason that I continue to do it, first of all I am from Chicago, my heart is always here. One thing that I do understand is the things that kids go through growing up in this community. I grew up in this community without youths. I try to come back and I try to stress that, and try to be a positive force for the kids and let them know that I am someone that has been through what ya’ll are going through and understand and know to try to give them ways and opportunities where they can see a brighter light and see a bigger future in front of them. So that is why we put on this Wade’s World Weekend…we don’t do it for the attention we do it for the kids. We have got a lot of events, some are going to be fun of course, but we have a lot of events that focus on the kids and I think our biggest one is the Chicago Has Got Talent Event that we do on Saturday night, really just showcasing the talent of the kids of Chicago but giving them an opportunity and a platform to tell them that there is other things we can do and hopefully someone can get a chance to see that.”
Why he decided to re-sign with the Heat instead of signing with the Bulls:
“Well first of all I can’t deny the team that I have in Miami. It is very hard to turn that down more than anything. You know what? It just wasn’t the time, it just wasn’t right. I look at it and say, In 2003 I was this close to coming to Chicago I was two picks away. Now in 2010, I was this close to coming back, but I mean at the time it wasn’t right. It didn’t work out. I respect Chicago and of course I respect the organization. This is an organization that I grew up loving and still have a heart for, not when we play the Bulls. But it just didn’t work out. It was real close, my heart was in it, but the team that I have got in Miami and what I built there just overcame in the end.”
Whether he is surprised by the backlash LeBron James has received since signing with Miami:
“Well first of all, there is a lot of misinformation out there when you come to this and it will forever be and you can’t come out and change everyone’s mindset. The combination of us three players coming together was never an option for us until Coach Riley presented it to us this summer. You never thought that you could bring three players together at all – thought maybe two just like everybody else, but not three. It was something that at the end of the day we couldn’t pass up on because it was a once in a life opportunity and there was not many opportunities and times where it could happen. With the backlash that LeBron is receiving from this, it is fine. I think he has handled this very well. I think he understands that he made a decision that was best for LeBron James and for the James’ family. At the end of the day that is what is important to him. It is unfortunate that people can come out and say the things they have said about him but if he shoots back and says anything he might get fined or it is going to be looking like the worst thing ever. I think he has been doing a good job of continuing to focus on his life and his family and move on from. He just wants to play basketball and he wants to put himself in a position to win championships and he has done it.”
Why he had a 2nd meeting with the Bulls and what happened during that meeting to make him walk away thinking it wasn’t the right fit:
“Well we just exchanged more information. It was both sides and it wasn’t like I said, let’s call the Bulls and let’s meet again. It was both sides that wanted the 2nd meeting because of we wanted to finish more information. Like I said, it was very close and I had to take my emotional side out of Chicago and not making an emotional decision, but at the end of the day I think those guys understood, first of all, they have got a great team. They did an unbelievable job at getting the right team around them to get themselves in a position to compete for a championship real soon. They did a great job, but for me both sides just wanted more information. It was a great meeting. I personally thanked all of them for their time afterwards. Like I said, it just wasn’t the right time. No one will ever understand me because no one was in those meetings, no one understands the emotions that I have to deal with and a decision that I had to make but it was a very tough decision. So I just appreciate the Chicago fans that continue to support me through it all. Even though I am not in a Bulls uniform, my heart is here. I think this weekend and having this foundation here continues to show my commitment to Chicago and hopefully everyone sees it that way.”