Dwyane Wade shocked the basketball world Wednesday night by announcing he would leave the Miami Heat and join the Chicago Bulls.
There were signs of trouble between the franchise and its cornerstone player in recent days, but few expected the 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion would part ways with the only organization he has played for during his 13-year career.
Even Heat president Pat Riley seemed shaken by the finality of it all.
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In this text message to the Miami Herald, Riley shared his reaction:
"SADDDDDDD!!!! SO saddddddd! I will never forget the sixth game in Dallas in 2006. DW rebounded the ball, and threw it to the heavens and the Heat universe was perfect for that moment. Our first world championship. Our universe is not perfect today. It will be fraught with anger, judgment, blame instead of THANK YOU!!! Ten years ago. Ten years older. Ten years wiser. Ten years changed. All of us. Dwyane had a choice, and he made it. He went home. Bad, bad summer for us. But there will be another 10 years, and it will be someone or something else in 2026. Move on with no blood or tears. Just thanks. I truly loved Dwyane, but families grow, change and get on with another life. He will always be a part of us. ALWAYS! And no more bruises and enough fighting. Let's just fly above it if we can and never forget. I feel his pain and pride for what pushed him over the ledge. Been there. Forever, for always, your coach I will be. FOREVER!"
Sounds like Riley still is coming to grips with the decision, just like Heat fans -- some of whom are not behaving as rationally as Riley.