Wade confirmed before the game that he received Riley’s email, but Wade hadn’t read it yet.
“I haven’t spoken to him since I got in the building,” Wade said. “I did look at my emails today. I got emails from him, I haven’t had time to read them yet. I’ll take time on the plane somewhere to read them. But I’ll focus on basketball tonight, there’s nothing to squash [with Riley] in my eyes. I’ve spoken through you guys and he’s heard me very loud and clear. I’m just appreciative of Pat and what he helped me — what we created together here in Miami. I have nothing to squash. I’m looking to focus on the game and getting my team prepared to come out here tonight and try to play against a team that’s ready to go. Ready to get after us. And we got to be prepared.”
On Wednesday, Wade said he hadn’t spoken to Riley since last season ended. After contract negotiations broke down over the summer, Wade decided to sign a two-year, $47 million deal with the Bulls, which included a player option. While Wade has talked openly about the homecoming he always wanted in Chicago, many around the league feel as though he wanted to stick it to Riley, and the Bulls provided the best landing spot after Wade’s 13 seasons in Miami.
“It’s been joyous, it’s been great,” Wade said of his time in Chicago. “You make a decision like I made because change is a part of what you want as well. And I was looking forward to a little change, a little different scenery and I have that. And I’m enjoying that. But when you come back here, obviously it’s the things that you’re used to. Those things feel good as well.”
As Wade walked into the arena for the first time Thursday night, he was cheered by a group of arena workers. He smiled as a large group of cameras and media followed him toward the visiting locker room.
“Man, I guess the ones that come to mind are the championships,” Wade said of his on-court memories in Miami. “The one thing that’s gonna be cool for me is, normally when we line up for the national anthem, the banners are behind me. This time, I get to look at what we accomplished from the opposite side. And that’s gonna be pretty cool to see what we accomplished. Just the championships we won here.
“From my rookie year on, I’ve got memories here, every moment, every game. Hitting my first game winner in the playoffs here,” Wade said. “A lot of great memories. Got some bad ones, too. I’ve had some injuries here, had some bad losses, but all good from a standpoint of how everything happened for my career here in 13 years. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was spectacular. I couldn’t have asked … when I was a kid, I couldn’t have gotten on my knees and ask God for a better pro career and the start and the finish of it. So I’m proud of it.”