How did Heat players react to Dwyane Wade’s return? They couldn’t believe it

MIAMI — If you were surprised to hear Dwyane Wade is returning to the Heat, you’re not alone. When a reporter informed Hassan Whiteside of the news, Miami’s center didn’t believe it.

“You joking or are you for real?” Whiteside asked after Thursday’s practice. “For real?”

For real.

The greatest player in franchise history is back with the team he spent the first 13 seasons of his NBA career with. The Heat re-acquired Wade on Thursday, a few hours before the trade deadline, by sending a second-round pick to the Cavaliers.

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat looks on during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena on May 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

“I literally just walked past and heard the news,” Heat guard Tyler Johnson said, who spent two seasons as Wade’s teammate in Miami. “It’s crazy. I mean, it’s a steal. It’s a steal. I couldn’t imagine it happening like this, but obviously we’ll take a Hall of Famer back.

“Who could have called it? Nobody called D-Wade coming back for a second round pick. It sounds made up. It sounds like a 2K trade.”

[Dwyane Wade’s top five Miami Heat highlights]

[Five of Dwyane Wade’s greatest plays for the Miami Heat]

[Dwyane Wade: By the numbers]

Nobody was happier about the news than Udonis Haslem, Wade’s close friend and longtime Heat teammate. Haslem and Wade entered the NBA together as Heat rookies in 2003-04 and spent the first 13 seasons of their careers together.

“I guess I can share my city with him again,” Haslem said with a smile. “… This is probably one of the more shocking [moments as a Heat player] out of all the things that have happened just because I’ve been talking to him the last couple days, and we kind of feel like we spoke it into existence a little bit. The last couple days, we’ve been texting back and forth and just brainstorming about different things and different opportunities. Like I said, we all thought this would probably play out next year. But the timing is the timing.”

Dragic couldn’t hide his smile when he was informed the Heat traded for Wade.

“He’s a Heat lifer,” Dragic said. “He put this franchise on his back and we need him. It will be awesome to bring our captain back. He’s my guy. I remember what he means to me when I came here. He helped me a lot. His experience, he can do a lot of things.”

Richardson, who is in the middle of a breakout season and is averaging 16.2 points in 34 games since Dec. 1, is looking forward to continuing his lessons with Wade. Richardson spent his rookie season as Wade’s teammate.

“He’s an awesome guy,” Richardson said. “He was one of my vets my rookie year and he took care of myself and Justise [Winslow]. I think he has a lot of stuff that that he can teach us and teach me about the roles that he scores and the way that he does things.”

As expected, there was also plenty of social media reaction.

Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union, tweeted: “305 HOME!!!! Let’s goooooooo HEAT!!!! Can’t. Wait.”

Wade’s close friend and former Heat and Cavaliers teammate LeBron James posted a photo of Wade in a Heat uniform with the caption, “Truly happy for my brother @dwyanewade!! It’s how it’s suppose to be. Love you my guy!! #WadeCountyBack”

The energy that Wade’s acquisition brought to the Heat was visible through the smiles on players’ faces.

“It was a sad day when Wade left and it’s a beautiful day now that he’s back,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. “You’re back to Wade County. That’s a headline right there.

[Heat re-acquire Luke Babbitt, send Okaro White to Atlanta]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

Reader Comments 0

0 comments