Speaking at his youth basketball camp in Miami on Saturday, Dwyane Wade discussed Pat Riley and his exit from the Heat organization.
“There's going to be a lot of stuff that's said about me and Pat,” Wade told reports.“First and foremost, I love Pat Riley. He's been someone who has been a figurehead in my life since I got drafted here at 21. But at the same time, he has a job to do. He has a different hat to wear. That hat sometimes is not to be my best friend. That hat is to be the president of the organization, and to be a businessman. And it sucks.”
Wade left for the Chicago Bulls in free agency this week after 13 years and three championships with the Heat. Reports indicated Riley and Miami made little financial attempt to keep him, with Chicago and Denver both offering Wade more money and the Heat never upping their initial proposal.
“Because you love somebody so well, you guys love each other, but the business side comes out,” Wade said. “You know? And we have to deal with that. I'm not saying we've hugged and cried and shared tears at this moment. But I love Pat and I will always love Pat. And I know he feels the same way about me.”
Open Floor Podcast: Dwyane Wade goes home to Chicago
Wade eventually accepted a two-year offer in the $47 million range from Chicago, with the Heat offering $40 million. ESPN reported Wade and Riley never had direct contact in negotiations, although Wade met with Heat owner Micky Arison toward the end of the process.
Wade, 34, has made 12 straight All-Star teams and holds myriad Heat records. He is the organization’s all-time leading scorer.