MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dwyane Wade always expected to end his career in Miami.
After all, the “Heat Lifer” was a 12-time All-Star, a three-time NBA Champion and an NBA Finals MVP in just one uniform.
So when he signed with the Chicago Bulls, Wade shocked himself, his family and most definitely his agent.
“He expected to be back with Miami and I expected him to be back with Miami. I expected him to end his career with Miami,” agent Henry Thomas told CBS4’s Jim Berry.
Plain and simple, it came down to money.
“Dwyane expected a little bit more in his contract for what he has given to Miami and the team for his whole career,” Thomas said.
Wade felt he went on the sword enough taking less money time and again so the Heat could remain a contender.
Last season he wanted a three-year contract but settled on a one year $20 million deal. He then went out and had one of his best seasons in years.
“He played well this year and I think in my mind he went back four, five years in terms of his production on the court. And I think that he expected Miami to compensate him for that,”
Instead, the Heat stood firm on a two-year, $40 million offer.
Thomas said the situation reached a point of no return.
There were even reports Pat Riley never once contacted Wade in free agency.
Wade, feeling jilted when they chased Kevin Durant, decided it was time to leave the only NBA home he had known to play for his true hometown team.
“Of the places that he had options to go to, this was the most interesting to him because he is coming home. He has family here. He grew up here. And he grew up with Michael Jordan when he was young,” Thomas said. “I think if he was going to leave Miami, I think it would have been here.”
Appearing as guest-host on “Live with Kelly” on Thursday, Wade explained how tough the decision was.
“It’s so surreal. I’m still numb,” he said. “You get a week to decide what you’re going to do. I lost 5 or 10 pounds.”
Still, Wade said he’s “excited to go back to the place where I envisioned playing basketball.”