At the initial planning meeting, the Miami Heat had plans of honoring Dwyane Wade on one night for his jersey retirement.
After rethinking, they realized it was much bigger. Heat team president Pat Riley decided more was needed to celebrate the best player in franchise history. So starting Friday the Heat will hold a three-day celebration for the event.
"These kinds of things evolve from the standpoint of our first meeting," Riley said during an appearance on 790 The Ticket. "When we wanted to pick out the right date to retire his jersey, it was a one-night thing, a stand alone night. But things turn into three days. His number was three and he's got three titles. We're going to have three days for him. I think he deserves it."
On Friday, AmericanAirlines Arena will host "The Flashback," an event that will highlight Wade's impact on basketball. The jersey retirement will take place at halftime of the Heat's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It concludes with the screening on Wade's documentary at the arena.
Riley felt extended the celebration was necessary because of his impact on the organization. Last year Wade retired after 16 seasons, spending all but 18 months with the Heat. He had brief stints with the Chicago Bulls and Cavaliers before returning to Miami in February of 2017. A 13-time NBA All-Star, he is the franchise's career leading scorer and a future Hall of Famer.
"For Dwyane, he was an exceptional player for us," Riley said. "He was a tremendous role model, example, the whole thing. We felt it was going to be a lot of fun for him."