How will Dwyane Wade be received by Miami Heat fans Thursday night?

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade won’t be in Miami for long, but he plans to make the most of his trip.

The Bulls face the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday night before flying and arriving to Miami early Thursday morning. The tight schedule gives Wade just a few hours to spend in his Miami home before he faces the Heat at 8 p.m.

“I would love if it wasn’t on a back-to-back and three (games) in four,” Wade said to reporters at shootaround Wednesday in Atlanta. “I would love if I was able to have a day so I can enjoy my house. I’m going to go sleep in my bed for about three hours. But I’m going to take advantage of the moments I’m there.”

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts before taking on the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 9, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts before taking on the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 9, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Thursday night’s matchup between Chicago and Miami will produce many memorable moments. After all, it’s Wade’s first game in Miami as a visiting player after spending the first 13 seasons of his NBA career in a Heat uniform.

But there’s one specific moment that’s going to be interesting to watch — how will Heat fans react when Wade is introduced as a member of the Chicago Bulls before the game? Wade isn’t even sure.

“You never know,” Wade said to ESPN earlier this week. “You never know how you’re going to be received. But I did everything possibly right in my time there. So hopefully I’m received [for] what I’ve given to the franchise, organization. But at the same time you never know. You might hear a boo or something at some point. Everybody don’t like you. You got to understand that. But I think overall it will be positive.”

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Wade left the Heat this past summer as the organization’s all-time leader in games (855), minutes played (30,560), points (20,221), assists (4,944) and steals (1,414). The 12-time All-Star won three championships and built a Hall of Fame legacy in Miami.

The Heat plan to honor Wade with a video montage during the first timeout at AmericanAirlines Arena on Thursday night. Miami has also used video montages to honor other returning champions like LeBron James and Mario Chalmers.

“I’ve only experienced it from clapping for other guys who came back,” Wade said Wednesday of the video tribute. “I’ve always been appreciative of the guys who came back and the tributes they got.”

Although Wade left the Heat as one of the most accomplished athletes in South Florida sports history, there were some hurt feelings when he decided to leave the Heat in July.

Contract negotiations between Wade and the Heat turned tense for a second consecutive summer. The 34-year-old was reportedly searching for a deal worth around $50 million over two years or a three-year contract.

The Heat offered Wade a two-year, $40 million contract with a player option for the second year. Miami never substantially improved its offer, pushing Wade to leave the Heat after 13 seasons and sign with the Bulls on a two-year, $47 million contract. Heat president Pat Riley and Wade still haven’t spoken since the move.

But Udonis Haslem still expects his longtime teammate and friend to be welcomed by Heat fans with cheers Thursday night.

“It’s a lot of love. You can’t be bitter,” Haslem said. “You can’t hold any grudges, what he’s meant to this organization. He’s the best player this organization has ever seen. Rings. All-Star Games. Olympic medals. None of that changes. If somebody can’t understand that, probably they’re the ones with the problem.

“As far as this organization, from my understanding when I’ve talked to Pat and Micky [Arison], nobody has any grudges. It’s still all love. It was a difficult process for everybody this summer. We all still love each other. We still consider each other family and we’ll still continue to be there for one another.”

That’s why it’s expected to be an emotional night for Wade and those inside the Heat organization who worked with him.

“He’s going to get a great reception here,” said Erik Spoelstra, who was a Heat coach for each of Wade’s 13 seasons in Miami. “That’s going to be fun, that’s going to be special and it’s deserving. It will probably be emotional for me and then when we get to the competition, that’s ultimately what it’s all about.”

And whether he’s cheered or booed in Miami, Wade has a message for Heat fans.

“My message to them is what it’s been all summer: Thank you,” Wade said to ESPN. “Thank you for supporting me in the great times. Thank you for supporting me in the bad times for 13 years. On and off the court. Allowing me to have my privacy away from the game and supporting me in everything I did in the community. They supported me when I did good in the season, they supported me when I played bad. The biggest word I can say to them is that I appreciate it and just thank them.”

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