With the season t-minus 24 hours away, it has a weird feel without Heat legend Dwyane Wade in a Heat uniform. While his reasons to leave are justifiable, it still hurts. The thing that hurts even more, King Pat Riley let him walk WITHOUT a fight.
While King Riley knows how important D-Wade has been to the franchise (3xNBA Champ) and the city of Miami (Miami Wade County), he knew that if the Heat wanted to be competitive anytime soon, it would mean letting D-Wade go.
Flash may be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but that does not mean he is automatically guaranteed a big contract. 3yrs./$60mil is too much for him to make in a Heat uniform. I understand how much he has done for the franchise and city (having grown up in the 305), but Riley did what he had to do. He stayed professional like he has his whole career, and that is what has made him great.
By letting D-Wade walk, King Riley has allowed the Heat to start the rebuilding process 3 years earlier. With Hassan Whiteside fresh of a max contract, 4yrs., $98mil, it is time for the Heat to become his team and build around him. With Justice Winslow coming off a solid rookie year, expect his workload to increase.
Riley knows the struggle of rebuilding, but he knows what it feels like to build a winning team. Letting go of D-Wade was heartbreaking for King Riley, but he knows it had to be done.
Do you fans believe the Heat should have let go of D-Wade? Or was King Riley right to let him go to the Windy City?