Dear Dwyane Wade,
While we really never wanted this moment to come, it’s time to officially say goodbye to the person HEATnation watched grow up before our eyes, the player we called our captain, and the hero this town nicknamed their county after.
There are very few legends in this community. Maybe that’s because South Floridians have a tough time opening up our hearts to sports heroes unless they are truly worthy. Dwyane Wade, YOU have been worthy of it all. From the moment you joined the Miami HEAT as a draft pick in 2003, you proved you were worthy like a flash of lightning descending on this city and creating a spark in the league. And like a flame that never burns out, you’ll always be worthy of the love, respect, celebration and admiration from the fans and the community for generations to come. We are HEATnation, because of you. Without #3 leading the pack, there aren’t three championships parades, there’s no “Big 3” era, and there are no ring ceremonies or banners hanging from the rafters of the American Airlines Arena. You made us more than just a #BasketballTown, but a town that WINS.
But more importantly, you gave our community LYFE and lead us in fights we couldn’t win on our own. You made our town a better place with your endless philanthropy. You stood up for so many who couldn’t find the strength to do so during one of the most tragic, darkest periods of our time: gun violence. And you didn’t just care about the tragedies in our own backyard, you fought for everyone in the country because you care about them as if they were your own sons, daughters, sisters and brothers, because that is the WAY OF WADE.
So how does this town, this city, this league thank you for all you’ve done on and off the court? Nothing seems to suffice! But here’s a shot:
Thank you for the years you devoted to our team. For the thousands of hours of blood, sweat and tears you poured into your craft. For giving us your soul and lifting us up when we needed it most. Thank you for representing our team 13 times in the NBA All-Star game and for being one of the most respected members of our community. Thank you for playing with all your heart as you represented our team on your jersey and for giving all of your heart as a citizen to the place we all call home.
Thank you for literally putting all of HEATnation on your shoulders and for embracing South Florida.
You gave us your all, always. Time. Effort. Energy. Gave up money to make our team better. Played through pain to bring us the glory of a championship. Spent your days off fighting to make the world a better place. You’ve been our family and we’ve been yours. And FAMILY IS FOREVER!
HEATnation may wish for another year to watch your greatness in the house that you helped build, watch you drop back for another pull away three, and scream as you hop on top of the scorer’s table one more time, but there is so much more to the Dwyane Wade L3GACY than the years you’ve spent wowing us as an athlete.
As the the final buzzer rings on your prolific career, we know you’re just getting started. We hope wherever this retirement takes you, you are always reminded of the pride, love and admiration we have for you. And we know the drive, dedication, commitment, passion and love you brought to the sport that made you a household name, will continue to burn brighter than ever as you get ready to begin the first quarter of another game in this thing called life.
It’s been our pleasure to live by the thrill you provided night after night to HEATnation, and South Florida will never forget what you’ve done for us. Your place in history among our intimate club will always remain at the top…because of who you’ve been to us on and off the court. We can’t wait for you to be brought to your feet the way you repeatedly brought us up on ours. The stats may one day get surpassed, but your legacy and impact are forever irreplaceable.
We thank you, we celebrate you and respect you for being as much of a champ off the court, as you are on it …for being our brother and friend…for being knocked down 7 times but getting up 8!
The key is forever under the mat,
Every HEATlifer, member of HEATnation, fans of the game and all of South Florida.
Genna Revitz, a Miami media veteran, is the latest addition to Miami Heat Beat.