Five Reasons Why Dwyane Wade Stays With the Miami Heat
As July 1 is less than a month away, free agency talk will only continue to heat up when the NBA Finals conclude.
Media outlets believe that a "summit" will take place amongst the top players—LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh and Amar'e Stoudemire.
Wade's agent debunked that exaggeration yesterday.
But that doesn't mean the superstars won't talk about their futures.
Some wonder whether Wade will stay in Miami or team up with James in his hometown of Chicago.
Others believe that the Knicks, and their money, will prevail.
In this slide show I present five reasons why Dwyane Wade stays put in Miami, which has been affectionately called Wade County since his arrival.
"But at the end of the day, everyone knows, it's not any secret that I want to be in Miami," Wade told the Associated Press. "It's just steps, a lot of steps, have to be taken to get to that point."
Welcome to Wade County
There's a "Wade County" billboard at one of the highway exits for Downtown Miami near the American Airlines Arena.
There's South Beach's nightlife.
Back in December when I spoke to Wade about what he loves most about the holiday season, he said being with family and friends.
What he doesn't miss?
The cold weather in his hometown of Chicago. Wade said that he loves waking up to 80 degree weather and putting on shorts.
If that's not enough reason to stay, look no further than the Wade County merchandise and love he gets from locals...
Surely, it's more than a coincidence that the Heat drafted a player whose last name could easily replace the county's name when he reached superstar status.
The Heat Can Afford Wade's All-Star Buddies
I think the above picture says it all.
Don't LeBron James and Dwyane Wade mesh well in the same uniform colors?
And even with the signing of James, the Heat can still afford another top-tier player.
For much of the season Chris Bosh's name was out there. But there's even Amar'e Stoudemire, a Florida native, and Joe Johnson, to woo.
"I've been having to deal with a lot and do a lot," Wade told the Associated Press. "Now, over the next week or two, I'm able to now sit down and say, 'OK, let me call this guy, let me reach out to this guy.' And I'm looking forward to that."
Nothing beats calling up your Olympic teammates and asking if they want to play in the city of beaches and nightlife, right?
Pat Riley Takes Over as Coach
In early May, Heat President Pat Riley was asked whether he would ever return to coaching.
With 24 years, 1,904 wins, and five NBA titles under his belt, Riley will do anything to help the Miami Heat win again.
"I'll do whatever is in the best interest of building the team here. Period," he said at a press conference. "Whatever it takes, OK? I'll let you fill in the blanks.
"If some free agent were to say, 'I will come here, but you must do this,' well, hell, if that happens that day, then I might have to give it some thought."
The other organizations with money to spend this free agency period don't have a Hall of Fame coach waiting to take over at a moment's notice.
When the Heat's marketing team made the WeWantWade.com Web site go live about a month ago, the servers crashed in a few minutes.
Both local and national media were discussing the tactic.
From fan kits to etiquette lessons on meeting Wade, fans could show their love for the superstar via videos, tweets, and online messages.
But the icing on the cake?
When Wade posted a video on the site and on his Facebook page saying how much he appreciated it, that's all the reassurance the organization needed that it worked:
"Reading messages on wewantwade.com I think its cool that the Heat came up with this creative campaign. More so then anything I appreciate all the support and the thoughtful words that everyone is expressing about me as a player and as a person."
What the Other Organizations Lack
Below are the two "top" choices for Wade, should he decide to leave Miami.
New York Knicks
I can't say I know what's going on in Wade's head, but I do know that an athlete doesn't appreciate a team losing on purpose, per se. That's pretty much what the Knicks have done for a few years, relying on the hopes of a free agency period that can dissolve their sorrows. If anyone hates losing, it's Wade. He and Pat Riley still can't forget 2008's 15-67 record.
Wade brought it up himself when he spoke to the Chicago Tribune.
"I think the biggest question that you think about has to be loyalty," he said. "I know one thing about Miami: It is a very loyal organization. I see what they do with their players when their players get done with the game of basketball … how loyal they are. I don't know about the Bulls."
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were both brought up by Wade, who finds it interesting that neither stayed with the organization after their playing careers were over.