While there have been several surprise moves in the NBA over the summer, Dwyane Wade’s decision to join the Cleveland Cavaliers wasn’t one of them.
In a statement Wednesday, Wade said the obvious, that he and LeBron James have “already won two championships together and I hope we win a third.”
It was a pretty simple move, leaving Chicago. Yes, it was his hometown, and yes, he admits he loved having his mother watching him play. But the Bulls are in rebuild mode and at 35, he’s in no position to look to the future — well, other than the future of next summer and the playoffs.
Wade gives a shoutout to Chicago, saying he always wanted to play there. But with the state of the team, one year was enough.
James said that bringing in Wade will give the Cavaliers “another championship DNA, another guy with high basketball IQ, another playmaker that can make plays and also make shots.”
Wade won’t have to be one of the top scorers, but his familiarity with James will be a big boost to a Cleveland team that is trying to hold off a group of improved Eastern Conference teams.
Here is Wade’s statement:
“I’ve always dreamed of playing for the Chicago Bulls and I feel so fortunate to have fulfilled my dream this past year. The team is now heading in a different direction, which has made me reevaluate where I need to be in this phase of my career. Being a part of a team that is in the process of rebuilding doesn’t align with where I want to be right now no matter how difficult that decision may be.
“In the hopes of pursuing a fourth championship, I’ve reached a deal with the Chicago Bulls and I am excited to share that I will be joining the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. There’s no better place to be right now to continue to play and compete at the highest level. Cleveland believes in my talents and what I can bring to a championship contender both as a player and leader. I look forward to reuniting and playing alongside my brother LeBron. We’ve already won two championships together and I hope we win a third.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision and I am very grateful to the Bulls organization, my fans and the Chicago community for welcoming me home with open arms. It meant so much to me seeing my mom on the sidelines cheering me on as a Bull. I am so proud of the work we have been doing in the community and we plan to continue these efforts. It’s been an honor and a privilege to play for my hometown. Chicago holds a very special place in my heart and will always be home to me.”