Dwyane Wade expressed his gratitude to Miami for allowing him to grow and says “Wade County” will always be his home after his final game Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Former President Barack Obama was among those to congratulate Wade on his outstanding career in a video tribute to the Heat legend on an emotional night in South Florida.
The three-time NBA champion marked the occasion by scoring a team-high 30 points in a 122-99 victory that was not enough to get Miami into the playoffs.
Wade, a 13-time NBA All-Star, will make one last appearance in his illustrious career against the Nets on Wednesday after delivering a message of thanks following his Miami swansong.
“#WadeCounty, I love you.” – @DwyaneWade pic.twitter.com/37k5XU2ReY
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 10, 2019
“It’s meant everything,” Wade said. “To be able to come here and be embraced, to find a home, to be able to grow. I think that’s the one thing.
“When I was on the court early on and Stan [Van Gundy, former Heat head coach] let me grow, as a player, whether it was mistakes I made in life to whatever it was, this city has allowed me to grow.
“I hope they are proud of what they have helped me become. This city means everything to me. It’s forever, forever, forever going to be my home.
“This is the end of the basketball part for me, but [there is] so much more that I want to do in this city, so much we can accomplish together, so I look forward to that.”
Wade says whatever comes next cannot compare to life as one of the best basketballers in the world.
“You can’t replace this. I remember talking to MJ [Michael Jordan] about it. You’ve got to obviously find other ways of being competitive, to throw that competitive nature into [something],” the 37-year-old added.