IFWT_Wade Riley

Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat were at a standstill in terms of money.  Heat president Pat Riley offered Wade a two-year, $40 million contract but Wade felt he deserved more.  Riley called his bluff about leaving and was “floored” when Wade actually picked up and went to his hometown of Chicago to play with the Bulls.  Now Riley is expressing regret over the situation.

“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 spent 13-years with the Heat, won three championships and is their all-time leading scorer.  Dade County was called “Wade County.”  Riley expressed regret in not being there for the final meeting, and not making sure that Wade finished his career with the team he started it with.

“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,” Riley said. “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.”

Though Riley says he regrets not doing more to keep Wade, he remains firm in not offering so much money that it paralyzed the team’s ability to win.  That’s what happened with the Lakers; Kobe’s controversial final contract limited their ability to make moves to improve the roster.

“My thoughts were always to try to make the team better and at the same time try to make sure that Dwyane, over the course of the three, four, five years that he had left in his career, that he was going to get his money,” Riley said. “He would get it — but not at the expense of paralyzing our ability to win. If there’s anything I could have done better, I would have done it. But right now, there’s no do-overs in this thing.”

Wade however felt he was owed because of the work he put in for the franchise and the previous pay cuts he took including the one to bring in LeBron James.  He eventually signed a two-year, $47.5 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.

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source: ESPN