MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hours after Dwyane Wade revealed he’s leaving the Miami Heat for the Chicago Bulls, he appeared as guest-host on “Live with Kelly” Thursday morning in New York fulfilling a commitment he made several weeks ago.
The first order of business for Kelly was asking him about this big decision to leave the Heat after 13 years.
“It’s so surreal. I’m still numb,” said Wade. “You get a week to decide what you’re going to do. I lost 5 or 10 pounds.”
He went on to thank all of the fans of the Heat Nation.
“I just want to thank all my fans. We call it Heat Nation. Just around the world, just by the way that they embraced me. This little shy kid from Chicago, came from Milwaukee to Miami and really grew up. We did some special things together. I didn’t do it by myself I had so many unbelievable teammates along the way. But our fans are just phenomenal.”
Despite the sadness of leaving the only NBA home he’s had, Wade said he’s looking forward to heading home.
“I’m excited to go back to the place where I envisioned playing basketball.”
In a light-hearted moment, Kelly Ripa compared old basketball shorts to the new longer length shorts and pulled out a pair of short shorts and told Wade he should bring back “hotpants.”
The pair also talked about the Dwyane Wade’s cover picture on ESPN’s Body Image issue in which the NBA star appears sans clothes.
Wade decided Wednesday night that he will leave the Miami Heat after 13 seasons. He agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Chicago Bulls and will earn about $47 million, instantly making him the highest-paid player on his new team — a distinction he never had in Miami.
Miami had become home. Chicago was his first home, and is now his next home.
“This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family,” Wade wrote in a letter to Miami, released to The Associated Press.
Wade is Miami’s career leader in games, minutes, field goals, field goal attempts, free throws, free throw attempts, assists, steals and points. He’s even second in blocked shots, perhaps the most impressive stat of all considering Wade is listed at 6-foot-4 — which is generous, probably by about an inch.
He played for all three Heat title teams. He was the Finals MVP in 2006. He was a 12-time All-Star. He was beloved like only a handful were in Miami, reaching a stratosphere perhaps only seen by the likes of Dan Marino, Alonzo Mourning and Jason Taylor. And Wade won more rings than all of them, combined.
“Thank you @DwyaneWade for a great 13 yrs!” Heat managing general partner Micky Arison wrote on Twitter. “You’ve had a tremendous impact on our community and our organization. We wish you all the best.”
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