Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade appeared on the Chicago Tribune Live show today and discussed how he almost came to the Chicago Bulls two summers ago. During the interview Wade recounted how the visit really “messed him up” as he was torn with where to play. Wade had to choose between his hometown Bulls and the city where he won his first NBA championship with the only franchise he had ever known. Wade, like most Chicagoans, grew up idolizing the Bulls and Michael Jordan and it would be a dream for him to play in his hometown.
When I first heard that Wade almost came to the Bulls I was shocked and it kind of hit home for me. I remember that summer when all of the teams in the NBA were clearing cap space to go after the likes of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Wade. I remember it so well because I actually saw Wade come out of an office building in downtown Chicago one summer day.
I had just finished my day working at Navy Pier and me and a few of my friends were walking towards the train station when I noticed a lot of camera crews. I realized that all of the people that were there were sports anchors for the local news stations in Chicago. Being such a big basketball fan I knew I had to wait and I told my friends, and I quote, “We have to wait and see who is coming out because I guarantee you it will either be Dwyane Wade or Lebron James.” Moments later Wade comes out of the office building holding a manila colored folder with what I only imagined was a new contract proposal.
I was ecstatic the rest of the day because out of all of the available free agents I wanted Wade to come to Chicago the most. Wade was a hometown product and beloved in Chicago so it would make a lot of sense for him to come here. Furthermore, the Bulls had one of the most appealing rosters at the time and Wade and Derrick Rose would have been a scary good backcourt. I have no doubt in my mind that if Wade would have come to Chicago the Bulls would probably be the ones hoisting up the Larry O’Brien trophy instead of the Heat.
Just thinking about it makes me dream about what could have been. Now the two franchises are on opposite sides of the spectrum. The Heat have just won their first NBA title of the “Big Three” era and the Bulls suffered a first round exit that was marred by the devastating injury to Rose. The Heat are on top of the basketball world and the Bulls are just trying to stay relevant in wake of Rose’s injury. I can’t help but imagining what it would have been like if Wade would have come to Chicago, it would have been bigger than James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers.
I’m not going to say that Wade single-handedly altered the fates of these two franchises with his “decision” and it makes you wonder why Wade would even reveal that he almost came to the Bulls. Is there hope that Wade could still come to the Bulls? Is there something going on in Miami that we all don’t know about? Probably not, but if Wade ever wanted to come to Chicago I would welcome him with open arms. I’ll never forget that day I saw him, he was wearing a red shirt that I thought was symbolic of the Bulls red but it was obviously symbolic of the Miami red.
I am and will always be a Bulls fan but it is intriguing to think about what could have been if Wade had made a different “decision.”
You can follow him on Twitter @aaviles312.