Just don't expect a big fuss when he decides to step away.
"I talked to Kobe about that," Wade said (via Complex's Gavin Evans). "He was like 'It was exhausting. As flattering as it was, it was very exhausting as well.' I'm not a narcissist like that. I don’t think I need it. I'm not calling Kobe a narcissist. He earned it and needed that. But I can't set out and say I want a farewell tour like Kobe Bryant. That's not who I am. I don't really talk about it, but when the time comes [to retire] I'll announce it in my own D-Wade fashion. Hopefully I can move on and live on the memories from that point on."
Bryant announced the 2015-16 season would be his last in November 2015, allowing the last five months of his NBA career to become a farewell tour. Opposing teams showered him with gifts on his final stop in each city, and the final months became the subject of multiple documentary and film projects Bryant worked on.
One, a short animated film named after a poem he wrote titled Dear Basketball, is nominated for a 2018 Academy Award.
Wade, 36, spent his first 13 seasons with the Heat before a falling out with team president Pat Riley—largely over money and respect—led to him signing with the Bulls in July 2016. An organizational shift in Chicago led the Bulls to buy Wade out, with the former All-Star joining friend LeBron James for an ill-fated stop in Cleveland.
The Cavs traded Wade back to Miami on the Feb. 8 trade deadline after a roster shuffle led to him likely to see a diminished role. Wade did not say how much longer he planned to continue playing, but he did say he has no intention of leaving Miami again.
"I’m 36. How did I even get here? Right now, I'm playing the game and I'm taking it year by year," Wade said. "I'm going into the summer seeing how I feel, especially from this point on and then we'll see. But I'm here forever. This is Wade County forever. I will always be here. No matter where I go in the world I will be here. Until I get done playing the game of basketball, I'll have on a Miami Heat jersey and I will enjoy this ride as long as it lasts."