“Floored” by Dwyane Wade’s departure, Miami Heat president Pat Riley said he greatly regrets allowing the three-time NBA championship winner to join the Chicago Bulls.
After 13 years in Miami, 12-time All-Star Wade decided to join the Bulls as a free agent.
Wade had an offer on the table from the Heat but the 34-year-old decided to end his stay in Miami, opting to return home to Chicago following a “business” rift with Riley.
“What happened with Dwyane floored me,” Riley said on Saturday. “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.”
Riley added: “I have great regret I didn’t put myself in the middle of it and immerse myself in the middle of it and get in a canoe and paddle to the Mediterranean if I had to, be in New York when he arrived on the sixth and greet him at the airport.
“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.”
A franchise leader for games played and points scored, as well as assists and steals, Riley continued on Wade: “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.
“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.”