Miami Heat President, Pat Riley, regrets allowing Dwyane Wade to leave via free agency.
Wade officially signed a two year $47 million deal with his hometown Chicago Bulls on Friday.
“What happened with Dwyane floored me,” said Riley on Saturday. “I’m going to miss the fact of what I might have had planned for him and his future and how I saw the end and my thought process in how I could see his end here with the Heat. … It’s my responsibility to sort of make that happen. I didn’t make it happen. Dwyane left, and the buck stops here.”
Wade indicated that his business relationship souring with Riley played a major factor in his decision to leave the only team for which he has played professional basketball.
Wade, who has played 13 years with the Heat, led the team to three NBA Championships, is the franchise all time scoring leader, and is widely considered the most popular, influential athlete of all time in the South Beach area.
“I have great regret I didn’t put myself in the middle of [Wade’s negotiations] and immerse myself in the middle of it and get in a canoe and paddle to the Mediterranean if I had to, be in New York when he arrived on the 6th and greet him at the airport,” lamented Riley. “I wasn’t there in the middle of the negotiation, and that’s my job. It’s not going to be the same without him. We will forge ahead.”