All smiles during his introductory news conference, Dwyane Wade says playing for the Chicago Bulls is a dream come true.
Chicago-born Wade fronted the media for the first time on Friday after joining the Bulls from the Miami Heat as a free agent earlier in July.
Wade – a three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star – had spent 13 years with the Heat but decided to return home, a decision he does not regret.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 29, 2016
“I’m thankful to be here today,” Wade said. “This is one of those moments that is a dream come true. Simply that.
“I’m a Chicago guy, a Chicago kid. I remember sitting on the floor and watching the Chicago Bulls win their first title. I was nine years old, watching on an itty bitty TV, and I said, ‘That’s what I want to do, that’s who I want to be.’
“My dream of being an NBA player started here in my hometown. Took a long time to get here, but I’m here.”
Wade will now link up with fellow recruit Rajon Rondo and Bulls star Jimmy Butler.
Despite boasting “three alphas”, Rondo was quick to stress it is Butler’s team following his introduction earlier in the month.
And Wade echoed Rondo’s comments, telling reporters: “This is Jimmy’s team. It won’t be a tug and pull whose team it is.”
Referring to Shaquille O’Neal’s move to the Heat from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004, Wade added: “We had no championships at the time, and I remember his press conference.
“I was playing in the Olympics at the time, like Jimmy is right now. And I remember Shaq said: ‘We’re not going to go through this all year. This is Dwyane Wade’s team.’
“So, we’re not going to go through this all year. This is Jimmy Butler’s team. Myself and Rondo are here to bring what we bring as athletes to this team and to this city. He’s the young Bull on this team. He’s a 26-year-old who can play 40 minutes if coach wants him to and maybe more.
“I ain’t trying to do all that. And we’re going to depend on him a lot.”