Miami Heat

Dear Dwyane Wade: An Open Letter From HEAT Nation

By Rey Valdes

Dear Dwyane Wade,

I’m going to start this off with a disclaimer because no man should be this sad about another man moving to another state.

Obviously there are worse things in this world, far worse. But sport is our escape from all that, a distraction from our lives.

And you were the embodiment of sports in Miami for 13 years. You helped us forget about everything that was bothering us, for a couple hours each night, 82+ nights a year, over more than a decade.

That’s what makes us fans, the term “fanatical.” While I shouldn’t rationally feel this way, I identify myself as a Miami HEAT fanatic, and you were the HEAT. Forgive me for being a little emotional.

I went through all five stages of grief after SportsManias gave me the alert that you had signed with Chicago.

I looked for a conflicting report.

I was furious at you, at Pat Riley, at Mickey Arison, Lebron, Chris Bosh, everyone.

I offered to pay for your contract with money I don’t have, to no one that was listening.

And I’m currently between depression and acceptance.

Let me get back to the anger for a second.

Some Miami HEAT fans will be really mad at you. Some will be really mad at Pat or the HEAT or whoever else. It’s part of the process.

Both of you were using our emotions as leverage.

“You don’t want to piss off the fans,” is exactly what I could imagine you guys silently mouthing every time a “report” was “leaked” from either side. I fell for it, although I’m not sure what and how much is true at this point.

What I do know is that you felt slighted, and that there is likely a reason you decided not to continue playing here.

I won’t try to guess what it was or what took it over the edge. I’m only sorry that it happened. I’m sorry you felt the way you did. And I’m sorry that you left because of it.

However, you should know that we appreciate you. We never took you for granted. We loved it when Lebron was here and watching you guys win two titles was incredible.

But you were introduced last for a reason. You always got the most applause. You weren’t the best player on those teams, but you were (are!) our favorite.

You piqued our interest when you, Lamar Odom, and Caron Butler beat out Baron Davis and the Hornets your rookie year.

You stole our hearts when you and Shaq won in 2006 in one of the greatest finals performances of all time.

I will never forget being at Game 5, down 12 to the Mavericks with 5 minutes left, and watching you put the team on your back and lead us to one of the best comebacks of all time.

Then you worked with Pat to bring Lebron and Chris down here for an unforgettable four years.

That Mavericks game is second only to Ray Allen’s shot out of the corner in Game 6. Finally, you cemented your legacy when you, again, sacrificed for us and came back once Lebron left.

This hurts, but it will not change all the good memories we have of you.

I’ll be there when we retire your number and when we unveil the statue of your fade-away jumper outside the American Airlines Arena. We will not forget.

But we aren’t Wade groupies; we are HEAT Nation.

Forgive us for not becoming Bulls fans.

We will not make a villain out of Pat, or Mickey, or anyone associated with our team.

We need them now to help us get through this.

We will figure something out and hopefully beat the shit out of the Bulls next time we play.

We only wish you would have been on our side.

I promise we’ll give you the loudest ovation you’ve ever heard after the video on the jumbotron is over, and only boo you after our tears have dried and Hassan Whiteside has won the tip.

Now someone play Seven Nation Army!

Wish you the best of luck in Chicago Dwyane.

Thank you for everything.

Yours Truly,

HEAT NATION

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Speculation Swirls That Dwyane Wade Could Stay In Miami As Fans Plan Sunday Rally

Sports fans are crazy people on a good day.

Full of hope and unbridled optimism.

But some Miami Heat fans are taking that old cliché to the next level by actively circulating the idea that Dwyane Wade could actually end up staying in South Beach next season.

Wade publicly announced earlier this week that he would be going to play in Chicago next season.

The Miami Heat organization has come to terms with this fact and has posted many positive memories of the franchise’s most legendary player for the past few days.

But despite all of this, many Heat fans refuse to let go.

After Wade seemed wistful and emotionally impacted in a press availability Saturday morning at a youth sports event he was sponsoring, some fans began to sense hope.

Wade did also say that he was a “Heat for life”. So there’s that too.

WATCH:

And then one reporter for the Palm Beach Post dropped a social media truth bomb that set #HeatNation ablaze:

Oh no.

#BringBackWade was born.

In a matter of hours, Heat fans made their rallying cry hashtag trending on Twitter and they organized an impromptu rally in front of the Jose Marti Gym (362 SW 4th ST Miami, FL 33130) for 8 AM on Sunday morning in order to convince Wade to stay. Wade will be at the venue for his youth skills camp.

So could it actually happen? Could a groundswell of love and affection convince a proud sports superstar to stay in Miami even though he would probably have to play for much less than he wants?

Sure.

Weirder things have happened before.

And this is Miami after all. So who the hell knows.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

H/T: 12 Up

Sorry Heat Fans, LeBron And Pat Riley Did Not Meet In Secret Last Week

Despite a Twitter storm and rumors circulating around the interwebs, LeBron James did not have a secret meeting with Miami Heat President Pat Riley last week.

One news website even ran with the rumors, using photoshopped Tweets from Sun-Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly as a source.

Kelly quickly came out and set the record straight about the Tweets:

James had been in Miami for a few day mini-vacation last week to workout with his former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade and enjoy the warm weather.

Many people started speculating that the visit meant something a little more serious and that James could perhaps be planning on returning to play in South Florida.

“What do I go there for? Go there ’cause I want to,” James said in an interview last week according to ESPN. “I would love to go to L.A., but I’ll take 2½ [hour flight] over 4½. I’ve got a house in L.A., but it makes more sense for me to go south than go west. But I go because I want to.”

But the moral to this story yet again is to not believe everything that you read online.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Miami Heat Announce That They Will Retire Shaquille O’Neal’s Number At The AAA

In a tweet, the Miami Heat announced that they would retiring the jersey number of Shaquille O’Neal at the start of next season.

O’Neal played for the Heat from 2004 to 2008 and won a championship with the team in 2006.

During O’Neal’s career in South Florida, Miami won three-straight division titles, and played in two Eastern Conference championships.

O’Neal wore number 32 during his time with the Heat.

“Shaquille O’Neal is one of the truly elite players in the history of the game and one of the greatest players to ever wear a HEAT uniform,” Heat President Pat Riley said in a press release. “He took us to another level as a basketball franchise while leading us to our first NBA championship. Retiring his number in the rafters, along with HEAT greats Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, is something we are very proud of.”

O’Neal still holds the record as Miami’s all-time leader in field goal percentage (.596) according to the press release.

Cover Photo Credit: Miami Heat/ Twitter

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