To Miami Heat fans, this feels like a bad dream or an alternate universe.
The greatest player in Heat franchise history has officially suited up in the ‘wine and gold’ colors of the enemy. Wade reunites with banana boat pal LeBron James on the shores of Lake Erie.
On Friday, Wade addressed the grinning members of the Cleveland media for the first time as a Cavalier. Here are some of his most memorable quotes.
On whether reuniting with LeBron James was the plan all along: “You don’t plan it. It just happens. A lot of people thought we planned it the first time (when James joined the Heat). It didn’t happen that way. This is something that came about because the situation in Chicago went a different direction.”
On when James started to actively recruit him: “Once I got the opportunity to get the buyout, LeBron was recruiting me the whole time. It was slight. It wasn’t heavy recruiting. The first time he reached out to me was a couple days after Jimmy (Butler) got traded. He texted me and just said, ‘hey man, just checking on you.’ I knew what that meant (fake media laughter ensued).
He reached out to me again, a little bit later, just to let me know, ‘hey man I would love – if something happened in Chicago – for you to be here.'”
On why he picked Cleveland over other suitors: “I looked around. I was flattered by the teams that reached out, but at the end of the day this is where I wanted to be and where I should be.”
On what it will be like playing in front of the (cue puke noises) great Cleveland fans: “They’re passionate fans. You look at Cavs fans, you look at Oklahoma City fans, Golden State fans, you look at these kind of fans – You say those are real sports fans.”
Pause for one second, and reflect on what Wade just said. Also, reflect on what he neglected to say. When talking about REAL fans, he specifically mentions Cleveland, Oklahoma City, and Golden State. But, no mention for Miami?
He conveniently leaves out the fan base that loved, cherished, and embraced him for thirteen years – his prime years. This one stings just a little bit. Of course, there’s no denying Wade still loves Miami and the Heat, but apparently he doesn’t put the South Florida fan base in the ‘real’ category.
Okay, one final quote.
On whether it’s setting in yet that he’s now a Cavalier: “I’m definitely in ‘The Land’ now. I’m trying to get the lingo down. I’m trying to get comfortable with everything.”
Dwyane Wade is a Cleveland Cavalier. We have now entered the Twilight Zone.