Miami Heat president Pat Riley speaks out regarding Dwyane Wade’s departure this summer, admitting that he was “floored” by the NBA star’s decision
Riley addressed Wade’s exit during a news conference this weekend, after Wade officially signed a two-year deal with his hometown Chicago Bulls.
“What happened with Dwyane floored me,” Riley said. “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 said last week that a “business” rift with Riley played a significant role in his decision, after 13 years in Miami, where he helped bring three NBA championships and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.
Riley admits that he was not as involved in the negotiation process as he needed to be… and ultimately, Wade agreed to a two-year, $47 million offer from Chicago.
“I have great regret I didn’t put myself in the middle of it 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,” Riley said. “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.”
“That is where we both failed … I more than he, because he’s the asset, he’s the star, he’s the face of the franchise,” he added. “I should have done everything that I could have verbally in trying to change his mindset to mine, a big picture, a better picture, or one that I thought would help him.”
Riley says he’s yet to speak to Wade, since he left Miami, but is working on an email that he plans to send soon.