"One day I want to retire in a Miami Heat jersey."
Miami Heat players, and fans, were hopeful that Dwyane Wade would return to South Beach after reaching a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls, but that reunion will have to wait. Wade officially signed a one-year $2.3 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, citing the opportunity to chase another championship ring with LeBron James.
That said, D-Wade isn't ruling out a return to Miami in the future.
According to the Associated Press, Wade expressed his desire to one day return to the Miami Heat and retire as a member of the franchise that drafted him back in 2003.
"Miami, the door's always unlocked. One day I want to retire in a Miami Heat jersey. I don't know how that will happen, but I definitely want to make sure that when I decide to hang it up, that jersey is on. Whether it's being back there or signing a one-day deal like Paul Pierce, I want to make sure that I go out the way I came in."
Pierce signed a one-day contract with the Boston Celtics this off-season so he could officially retire in green and white with the team that drafted him 10th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft and where he spent the first 15 seasons of his career.
The Heat had the most money to offer Wade of the four teams he was considering, but his priority was putting himself in the best chance to win a fourth NBA title. In a message posted to Wade's social media accounts last night, the 35-year old 3x NBA champion explained his decision to sign with the Cavs.
"There's no better place to be right now to continue to continue to play and compete at the highest level. Cleveland believes in my talents and what I can bring to a championship contender both as a player and leader. I look forward to reuniting and playing alongside my brother LeBron. We've already won two championships together and I hope we win a third."
When Dwyane Wade does make his return to Miami, whether it's for a full season or just a one-day contract, it won't be long after that until his #3 jersey is hanging from the rafters.