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Dwyane Wade says LeBron ‘made the right decision’

Jul 12, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

Heat forward James and guard Wade laugh during the closing minutes against the Mavericks in Dallas, Texas Reuters

Once LeBron James made the decision to leave the Heat for the Cavaliers in free agency, one would think that Dwyane Wade would have been less than thrilled with that specific turn of events.

While Wade obviously didn’t want to see the game’s best player leave, he’s able to separate the business of basketball from the way he feels personally about the man who helped him win two titles and was by his side for four straight trips to the NBA Finals. And he released a statement on Saturday (via Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press) that was seemingly in support of LeBron’s choice.

“As a friend and a teammate, I am sad to see my brother LeBron leave to begin a new journey,” Wade said in the release. “In 2010, we decided to come together all for one goal — to win championships and we succeeded. We were friends when we first joined the league and created an unbreakable bond the past four years. Our collaboration will always be very special to me both personally and professionally. We shared something unique and he will always be part of my family. LeBron made the right decision for him and his family because home is where your heart is. I know this was not an easy decision to make and I support him in returning to his roots. As an organization, a community, and as individuals, we achieved the goals we set when we first signed on together. We are champions.”

The Miami Heat have acted with nothing but class in the wake of LeBron leaving, and Wade continued along that path, which was somewhat expected.

It would have been silly to assume that Wade would have somehow been angry with James for leaving, but it’s nice to see him confirm the fact that there are no hard feelings nonetheless.

  1. antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    C.l.a.s.s. act. Bron, Wade and Bosh will always be friends and always have those championship years that no one can take away from them. And I will always respect Dwyane Wade for the sacrifices he made over the last 4 years to make Miami’s historic run possible. That was true leadership.

  2. seattlesuperchronic - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Nice.

  3. garypagetwo - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    lebron will opt out next summer .. HEAT . LAKERS or KNICKS .. BOOK IT .. CAVS SUCK

    • casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      LeBron’s new contract is weird if his plan is to stick with the Cavs until retirement. LeBron agreed to a 2-year, $42.1 million deal with the Cavs that has an opt out after 1 year, according to ESPN.

      There’s no long-term security if LeBron suffers a career threatening injury because it’s just 2 years, and LeBron gives himself the ability to become a free agent after 1 year.

      The new TV deal doesn’t kick in until 2016, so I can’t think of a reason why LeBron would want to be a free agent in a year unless he wanted the option to leave.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        I would’ve guessed that LeBron would want a 4 year max deal with the Cavs, with an opt out after 2 years so that way he could get a new deal with the Cavs in 2016 that gave him a raise.

        Most assume the salary cap will spike in 2016 based on revenue from the new TV deal, so becoming a free agent in 2016 makes a lot of sense.
        Becoming a free agent in 2015 makes less sense.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        That would be a PR disaster. I have no idea what that’s all about. Maybe the Gilbert thing is still there and he wants to be there first to see how it goes before committing long-term. That’s the only thing I can come up with.

      • seansull83 - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        I think the 2 year deal is probably due to the potential lockout/new CBA. It is assumption but they might get a cap increase allowing him to renegotiate a better long term deal. Dunno though who knows.

      • zoomy123 - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        Lebron didn’t get to the position he’s in through luck; he’s very shrewd and prudent. Lebron always maximizes his flexibility. I can’t imagine what would make him leave, but just because you can’t imagine it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. If he’s not obligated to box himself in, why should he?

      • bkbell3 - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:31 PM

        He probably did it for 2 reasons at least, in 2 years he might take less to make cap space for a free agent and or in 2 years his and other contracts on the cavs expire opening up cap space to sign help then go over the cap with a new contract. As far as injuries he makes something like 50mil per year and is worth i believe over 300mil right now so he will be all right if he gets hurt. If it was letrell spreewell i would be worried he couldn’t feed his family on that. lol

      • Chris - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        In 2018 a max contract for Lebron will start at 28 mill a year if he had have signed a max contract now he would only be able to get 20 mil a year. This is about money I don’t think he can eave Cleaveland again. He’ll retire there.

      • Damidwesterner - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        Just because you become a FA doesn’t mean you’re planning on leaving. If you know the cap is going way up, why lock yourself into less money now? I know about injuries, but some folks weigh that and look at it differently.
        Also, maybe this is flexibility if Love doesn’t get traded to the Cavs. Maybe they think if Love really wants to come there, LBJ can opt out, resign lower, give more cap space to get Love, then a year later go for the $28M max deal.
        I can see this when you look at the Cav roster and who can be out there to be had either next year or the following. Presuming nothing happens this year. Plus, you keep Wiggins.

      • program33 - Aug 9, 2014 at 9:26 PM

        Seems pretty easy to understand to me. Positioning. He is basically positioning his contract so that he can take less money to bring in another great player “if needed” for year 2. Smart business move…particularly if you are Lebron trying to build a championship team. Just an opinion.

    • capspats - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      I wish he could come back to Miami, but unless things go horribly wrong i can’t see him leaving Cleveland twice. If he does it’ll be the last couple years of his career to try to win another ring

    • thegloriousone - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:46 PM

      LeBron isn’t going anywhere. Book it. Fool.
      .
      And no, the Cavs don’t suck anymore. They have the best player in the world. Odds on favorite to win it all. Clown.

    • thegloriousone - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:49 PM

      Gary,

      LeBron is going retiring in Cleveland. And no, the Cavs don’t suck. They have the best player in the world, remember? Or have you been running around with your fingers in your ears the last two days?
      .
      Cavs – Odds on favorite to win it all. Book it.

  4. 88heatnation - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    LOL at Bosh’s face

    • shutmdownd - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      You can say that about 99% of the pics he is in, I usually think of a dinosaur when he is yelling with that long neck…

  5. casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Something mildly interesting.

    I would’ve guessed that LeBron would get a 4 year max deal with the Cavs, with an opt out after 2 years so that way he could get a new deal with the Cavs in 2016 that gave him a raise. Most assume the salary cap will spike in 2016 based on revenue from the new TV deal, so becoming a free agent in 2016 makes a lot of sense.

    Instead, LeBron agreed to a 2-year, $42.1 million deal with the Cavs that has an opt out after 1 year, according to ESPN. There’s no long-term security if LeBron suffers a career threatening injury because it’s just 2 years, and LeBron gives himself the ability to become a free agent after 1 year.

    It just seems a bit odd.

  6. thenmoveback - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Wades gonna tell him he made the wrong choice when the Heat kick the Cavs out of the playoff next season!

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      Oh my that’s funny. And who’s the Heat’s third best player again? Norris Cole? Danny Granger? Yikes.

    • thegloriousone - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:51 PM

      Miami would have to actually make the playoffs for that to happen.

  7. jrs45 - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    The contract is weird but there is no way I mean no way he leaves Cleveland again. Unless they win a championship.

    • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:24 PM

      I wouldn’t go making proclamations about what this guy’s going to do, lol. If he and Gilbert still can’t get along, the Knicks will be there in next year with the cap space this time to get it done. However, he will essentially be making his name dirt in his home state and will be choosing to never return like Art Modell or something.

    • jimbo75025 - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Agree. Only way he can leave now would be if the entire Cavs organization imploded or there was some kind of scandal. Face it, Lebron is a bigger business off the court than on the court and I do not think his image could take another massive hit. What he did Friday pretty much wipes away the PR disaster of 2010 and makes him even again, but he is now going to have to remain committed now for at least 5-6 years.

  8. pgilbert15303 - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Class act!

  9. mazblast - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    What else can Dyane say? Do you expect him to publicly go all apesh** over this?

    You know he’s kicking himself over opting out. He did it to enable the Heat (still one of the worst nicknames in professional sports) to offer LeBron a max deal, now LeBron is gone and he has no deal. IMO any large deal he gets would come only from Miami and would be more a reward for past services than for future creaky-kneed performance.

    • patrickla818 - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      Heat is not a bad name! It IS hot in Miami if you have never been! What about Pelicans? That name DOES SUCK!

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM

        Are you nuts? Pelicans are bad@ss. Only names worse than the Heat are the Wizards & Magic. Those make it sound like you bought a ticket to watch some dude blast lasers into his boyfriend’s butthole.

      • mazblast - Jul 13, 2014 at 2:34 AM

        I’ve spent plenty of time in South Florida, thank you, including a grandmother who lived in Miami Beach for her last 20-plus years and a father who lived in Ft. Lauderdale for his last 12-plus. I never said it wasn’t hot, only that “the Heat” is a terrible name. What is a “Heat”, or a “Magic”?

    • kevindoc593 - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      Hey Captain Obvious thanks for your opinion.

    • thegloriousone - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      Dyane should be thanking LeBron for dragging him to two championships.

    • florida727 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      Name the only major United States city to NEVER record a high temperature of 100 degrees? That’s right, MIAMI.

  10. eugenesaxe1 - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    wade’s all smiles with a mic in front of him, but you know he’s pissed off that he was talked into opting out just to watch LBJ leave.

    • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      Not really. Without LeBron on the books, they’ll give him probably about $15 a year on a 4 or 5 year deal and won’t blink at doing so. They’re no longer flush against the cap and the next crop of free agents don’t come up until after the TV deal gets done.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:32 PM

        1-He’s not going to last 4-5 years. I don’t know how they handle such things, but his knees will give out before then.
        2-40ish mil over 2 years > 15mil over anything.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        eugenesaxe1 ,

        The Heat are well aware of Wade’s knee issues (which btw are because he sacrificed for the team to get back quicker when he did it as opposed to how Derek Rose has handled similar injuries to his knee and missed 2 years). However, that doesn’t change the fact that he had his best season last year and that they tend to take care of their own home grown players. He’ll get about a 4 year deal worth $65 million to replace the opt out he gave up as a retirement present. Beyond that, it will be up to him if he wants to continue playing at 37 onward as a role player. On his next deal, it will be up to Spoelstra to manage him similar to how Popovich found a good balance for Duncan to make him most effective in the playoffs. This is more difficult to do with a ball dominant guard than a post player like Duncan, but we’ll see how he approaches the challenge.

    • jimmy53 - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      I love when posters act as if they know the minds of men they’ve never met.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        I love when posters lack good common sense.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      He wasn’t talked into opting out. And I don’t think he’s mad actually because he was saying during the season that he misses being the #1 option. He’s been taking a ton of criticism lately and he would never have been able to get to opportunity to prove critics wrong, without a shadow of a doubt, unless LeBron left.

      I think he’s relishing the opportunity. I think both Wade and Bosh are going to average over 20 ppg this year. Both All-Stars.

      • quietidentity - Jul 13, 2014 at 8:08 AM

        Care anti, this might be a little sobering for you http://regressing.deadspin.com/lebron-would-be-nuts-to-stay-in-miami-because-dwyane-w-1601849858

      • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        Yes, I saw that a few days ago. This might be a little sobering for you and deadspin:

        http://antistratfordian.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/deadspin-is-dead-wrong-about-dwyane-wade-being-dead-weight/

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 13, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        I’d just like to point out that being an All-Star has absolutely nothing to do with how well you’re playing. Or IF you’re playing.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        Well in this case it does.

  11. harshedmellow - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Heat will give him the 42 mil he opted out of, and then some.

  12. remyje - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    they did win championships but not the 8 they thought they were going to win lol

    • apkyletexas - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      And the last team to win 8 was the Celtics of the 1960’s, when the league consisted of 8 to 12 mostly horrible, frequently bankrupt teams. Many of the best players of the time were playing for the Harlem Globetrotters, which was often a more respectable gig than the NBA. So apparently it’s not so easy if you’ve got any type of real competition.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      Well that was taken too literally by just about everybody. They were never going to win 8. They could’ve won 4 though, but that still wouldn’t be 8. But they only seriously talked about winning “multiple” championships, which they did.

      • apkyletexas - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        They were actually joking at the time that LeBron said the infamous “not 5, not 6, not 7…”. They were all laughing, and during the same talk, they all talked about how hard they knew it would be to win just one championship, and how hard they would have to work. In fact, they were all just trying to figure out how to finally get past their shared nemesis, Boston.

      • remyje - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        could have won 4… 3 realistically… but if they won all 4, i guarantee they would all still be in miami and all of you delusional “fans” would be believing they could win 8

      • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        Well, you know, if you’re in 4 finals you could have won 4. You’re right there. But it didn’t happen. The Spurs could’ve won the last 2, but that didn’t happen either.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Nah, they could have won 3. In case you missed the Finals last month, they had no shot against the Spurs, lol.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        They did have a shot, they stole home court. If Pop doesn’t put fat Diaw in the starting lineup anything could’ve happened. More games would’ve looked like Game 2.

      • remyje - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:43 PM

        They were actually joking at the time that LeBron said the infamous “not 5, not 6, not 7…”.

        In fact, they were all just trying to figure out how to finally get past their shared nemesis, Boston.

        stop talking like you’ve had conversations with them, weirdo…. they were only joking (according to you) because it didn’t happen

      • thegloriousone - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        They won two. And if San Antonio doesn’t complete one of the epic basketball chokes in Game 6 last year, they win one.
        .
        The Hear may win 40 game next year.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:23 AM

        They only choked because LBJ made them choke. He put too much pressure on them in the 4th quarter and they couldn’t handle it. So credit LBJ for throwing insane combinations for 10 straight minutes. Credit Ray Allen for staggering them with the game tying haymaker, and credit Miami as a team for the KO in OT.

      • apkyletexas - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        I’m not saying I’ve talked to LeBron, Wade or Bosh. I’m saying most of us actually watched the introduction pep rally in Miami when they were introduced in 2010, and there was a lot of laughing, especially when LeBron said the quote. And there was a lot of talk by them at that rally about how hard it would be just to pull a contending team together and try to win just one title. And the sports press reported at that time that the reason they came together was because none of them separately had been able to get past the Big 3 in Boston for years. Without KG-Pierce-Allen there probably would never have been a LeBron-Wade-Bosh.

  13. AZ Dem - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    This statement was written by his agent. And I don’t believe for one second that it reflects Wade’s true feelings.

    And nor should it. I would be furious. LeBron convinced Wade to opt out. LeBron told him he was going to re-sign in MIA. Why else would Wade opt out? LeBron leaving is one thing, convincing Wade to op out of contract is another.

    Wade is now out of a job. He had what? $40M left on his contract (I’m not sure). Whatever it was, he’ll never come close to recouping that money now.

    Wade is now a part-time player, mid-level exception.

    Ironically, the only team I can think of that can use him is San Antone.

    • scorp16 - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      Just like LeBron’s letter was crafted and written by his PR people.

      • thegloriousone - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:01 AM

        Just like Erik Spoelstra’s playbook was written by Mike Brown.

  14. patrickla818 - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Wade is washed up as far as going DEEP into the playoffs. Unless Miami gets Pao Gasol or Kevin Love, they are in a similar position with the Lakers and Knicks.

    Lebron has made this upcoming season more interesting for sure!

    • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      Nah, you don’t know that. A player can put up a poor series even when they’re healthy. It happens. Wade had a good series vs Indiana and a bad series vs San Antonio. No big. He should be fine.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Not to mention that the entire Heat team had a bad series against San Antonio, including James. They were all on the court together giving up 20+ point first half leads in games 3-5 while missing shots and playing bad defense, or did I miss something?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:41 PM

        LeBron had an incredible series against the Spurs on both ends (great D on Tony Parker who became a non-factor). The only people who were more productive per minute in the Finals were MJ (once), Magic (once) and Shaq (twice).

        You know, LeBron’s Finals PER was an unreal 32.24. That’s his career high and the 5th highest since 1986.

      • thegloriousone - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        Lots of teams will have a bad series against a superior team with a superior coach.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:24 AM

        Or you can be like the Spurs and have a bad series in the 1st round against scrubs.

    • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      That’s funny that adding an older Pao Gasol who is coming off mediocre years will get them where they need to go but Wade who just had his best year in his career is done. Strange logic.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:42 PM

        realfootballfan, his career numbers are 18-9, last year with stupid mustache guy as the 3rd – 12th option he put up 17.4- 9.7. If you use him right he will be productive for another 3-4 years. He has that old man’s game that ages well like duncan and zack randolf.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        Oh, I think Pao is a good player, but to elevate him to a dominant force that would get the Heat back into championship conversations is laying it on a bit thick. Imo, the biggest problem the Heat will have this upcoming season is missing LeBron’s versatility on the defensive end of the court, as I think they’ll design an offense that can score without the conflict that arose as you played him and Wade together most of the game. Therefore, their glaring weakness throughout the last 4 years of no rim protection becomes even more glaring for them, but we’ll see what Riley does with his extra money he has left over.

  15. sabbys09 - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Lebron is a good player and as a spurs and I cant denyy that.
    Its just that attitude that I don’t like. When there’s mostly college just
    coming in the nba they probably need to find a system that works for them
    In order to win. I say spurs next year. I hope. cavs would go far deep
    In the playoffs though but eventually we have to pass the torch
    to the next great team which is sad to say for me becuase I’ll always love
    my spurs and have good memories of winning those five championships.

  16. djshnooks - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    I feel bad for Wade now, stuck on a team that won’t be contending now, they have no 1st round pick next year…and he could have possibly gone home himself…but he undoubtedly feels the pressure to stay.

    They might be a good team, but there’s no doubt their championship window closed yesterday when Lebron went home…there’s no way in any world that Wade and Bosh can lead Miami to a title by themselves…Wade needed Shaq to get his first, and while he’s alright, Bosh isn’t Shaq…and Wade is almost past his prime.

  17. jacobk621 - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Actually in all seriousness they in fact only earned one title in those 4 yrs ,, the year they beat the spurs they were down and out in game 6 and if not for the spurs missing ft’s in the last minute and Ray Allen’s miracle shot which came off a crazy rebound in which Duncan was on the bench they should have lost that series ,,

    • scorp16 - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:16 AM

      But San Antonio did miss free throws and Ray Allen did hit a 3 pointer and San Antonio lost game 6. Miami took that game from them. Contrary to popular belief, Allen’s 3 did not win the game. They still had to play 5 minutes in Overtime and another 48 minutes in Game 7.

      So in all seriousness yeah…they won 2 titles.

  18. Vir Publius - Jul 13, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    “The game’s best player” = Kevin Durant

  19. coffeeblack95616 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Wade can now be paid more $ with LeBron gone

  20. coffeeblack95616 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Lol, that’s because Miami is too stupid to know how to record temperature. How’s the humidity out there?

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