"This will be my last first-round exit for a while, I’ll tell you that.", Dwyane Wade on April 27th.
Have truer words been spoken this summer?
Wade went from being just a great player, to a Nostradamus like possible prophet
His comment stating "I'm looking forward to continuing to build, and being with some great players next year, continuing to beef up our roster," makes you believe he knew what was going to happen all along.
If that is the case then Wade should be commended for being a master tactician and strategist.
His calculated moves and planning would be envied by the great Sun Tzu.
Wade is heralded as one of the NBA's biggest super stars on the court but history may prove him to be an even better general manager
"It is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for the purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results."
Pat Riley can be seen as the enlightened ruler, while Wade the wise general who undertook this carefully crafted plan.
"If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies."
Wade set about eliminating the one player who would pose the biggest challenge to him winning multiple titles in the future by aligning himself with LeBron James.
"The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
Wade knew he could relate to LeBron in regards to having to single handily carry a team. He got in his ear about how hard they make it on themselves by not teaming up. How doing so would lessen the burden that each must carry alone unless they joined forces.
"There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited."
You can just picture Wade sitting back and breaking things down for LeBron, telling him how it makes no sense to spend the next eight years beating up on one another and missing out on countless spoils if they chose to unite.
"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
Miami understands how great they can be. Wade now knows his team is as good, if not better than any in the NBA. He doesn't need to worry about impending match-ups and games as much as before because he knows what he's taking the court with compared to opponents.
"Choose your friends carefully. Your enemies will choose you."
Wade knew who he needed to side with him. He spent years befriending LeBron and Chris Bosh. He may not have known back in 2007 when he signed his contract extension but this has definitely been in the works since 2008.
Do you really think Pat Riley would have just given up the last three years for nothing? Did anyone realize how the Heat were just setting themselves up as though they had a preconceived scheme which they were executing one move at a time?
Wade must have told Riley two years ago to do what he must in order to accommodate the contracts of two other stars. He had to assure the boss that he could deliver on something this huge and lucrative.
That's how George Washington won the American Revolution. It wasn't through rushing to victory but rather through enduring. Enduring one painful loss after another in order to strike a fatal blow. He took his beatings, licked his wounds and continued to persevere. Believing that in the end his will would not break and his patience would be rewarded.
This is what Riley and Wade went through for two years. They mortgaged the present for a much bigger and brighter future. They bypassed on Amare Stoudamire, Carlos Boozer and other suitable soldiers in order to land themselves a King.
"Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
It hasn't settled in yet, people still haven't realized just what occurred this offseason. When they finally awake, it will be much too late.
The Miami Heat now have two of the leagues three best players. Three of the top 15.
This won't register with the masses until they witness it for themselves. Once people catch a glimpse of what the three can do together on a court, they'll finally comprehend the magnitude of this summers free agency heist.
Most teams will feel defeated before ever taking the court.
Why do you think everyone is after Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony now? They realize that to even stand a chance they must try and counter Miami's moves.
Wade and Riley did it. They played the game to perfection and will now reap the rewards.
Don't go on about how this was against the rules or some sort of player collusion. Every organization does the same stuff. They have people like World Wide Wes and other cronies who work the phones and make back room deals.
What makes this different is that it was actually conceived and completed by a player.
Riley may have been the one with the brass pair needed to take such a risk but Wade was the main pitch man. It was he that possessed the inside ties and relayed the interest, Bosh and James joined him not vice a versa.
It had to be Miami too. Think about it. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston all have storied pasts/teams. Meanwhile Miami has yet to have a "Golden Age", they have no history to compare to or take away from the dynasty they are about to embark on.
Riley and Wade offered James and Bosh a blank canvass on which to create a masterpiece. A non income-taxed state which is also one of the most happening and cosmopolitan cities in America.
More than that it gives all four men a way to cement their legacies in NBA history.
They all saw the big picture. They know that in six years everyone will be saying how brilliant the Heat were. The shine of the rings will blind and silence all the naysayers.
Every kid will be sporting a Miami jersey and pretending to be either Bosh, James or Wade when playing in the park. All the video gamers will want to use Miami as their team.
A generation from now there will be sports fans debating whether the Miami Heat of the 2010s were the greatest team ever. They'll list all the talented players, relive how they won all the championships.
Wade did this. He worked the back channels and did the majority of the recruiting. This should put all other NBA general managers to shame. Those people are paid big bucks in order to do what Wade did, for a discounted rate, when you consider he took less money too.
Get the feeling Riley may one day groom Wade to be team president? If this summer is any indication Wade certainly possesses the tact and salesmanship to handle the position.
"Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge."
Wade and Riley had the vision. They came up with the plan. Then had the ability to make it come into fruition. Now all that's left is the easy part and that's to win it all.