The parting between Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat was certainly a surprise. Their franchise guy and the man who was supposed to embody their marketing campaign of “Heat Lifer” ended up in a contract stalemate with Pat Riley and Micky Arison. In the blink of an eye, Wade called the Heat’s bluff and ended up getting a big, two-year contract with the Chicago Bulls as he headed back home to the city of Chicago. By now, both teams have moved on from this and are preparing for the 2016-17 season. The Bulls are trying to get back to the playoffs. The Heat are trying to stay there.
Wade has made it abundantly clear that this was never about the Heat fans who have adored him and cheered for him since he was drafted back in 2003. And with an ad on an I-395 billboard near the American Airlines Arena, Wade thanked the city of Miami and Heat fans for their support during his 13 years in Miami.
We’re used to see a full page ad in a newspaper thanking fans. Or in today’s social media world, you’re guaranteed an Instagram post with some kinds words from the player who is no longer on that team. But taking out a billboard — which has often been reserved for things like the Maloof family asking Chris Webber to re-sign with the Sacramento Kings or the Los Angeles Lakers asking Dwight Howard to stay with the franchise — isn’t entirely common for thanking fans.
When the Bulls visit the Heat this season, you can expect a wonderful tribute video to Wade and a huge ovation for the three-time NBA champ.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Dwyane Wade thanks the city of Miami with a billboard