Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade says he's ready to take on the challenge on moving on without LeBron James, who returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dwayne Wade is ready to move on without LeBron James.
"Wade offered clarity on several issues involving free agency. He said based on instinct and discussions with James, he knew James would sign with Cleveland when they both disembarked from a Las Vegas to Miami flight on July 10, but that James did not tell him with certainty until the next day, shortly before his announcement.
"'You can tell where someone's heart is and what they're thinking,' Wade said. 'Me as his friend, I just support him. As crazy as that might sound, I'm supportive of my friends and doing what makes them happy. You've got to do what makes you happy, selfishly. The decision to go back home was that.'
"He said the Heat never asked him to come to Las Vegas to recruit James and he was there merely to spend time with James and enjoy himself.
"He said he did not opt out of the last two years and $42 million of his contract based on the belief that James definitely would return. He said he did it to give himself and the team more flexibility, even though he told his agent early in the process that he would not consider offers from other teams.
"Wade, who hopes to finish his career in Miami, took a two-year, $34 million contract instead of a longer deal because he wanted to give himself and the team more flexibility in 2016, when the cap could skyrocket to as high as $80 million, according to some projections. He trusts the organization will do right by him.
"'I understand the position we're in, (and) if you want the success you want, you have to give a little,' Wade said. 'I've been the front-runner on that.'
"He said after James announced his decision, he called Chris Bosh and Bosh said he needed another hour or so to decide, before opting for the Heat over Houston.
"Wade said he called only one Heat free agent target: Pau Gasol. He called him twice because he loved the idea of adding Gasol to the Big Three. Gasol later signed with Chicago.
"'Ownership has done a great job recovering from (James' departure),' said Wade, who will marry longtime girlfriend Gabrielle Union on Aug. 30. 'We have good talent.'"
Wade and Union sent a save-the-date video to their wedding guests on Aug. 4, per Yahoo Celebrity's Suzy Byrne:
"In anticipation of their August 30 nuptials, the pair sent a save-the-date video to the folks on their guest list. The 45-second mini-movie ended up on the Internet -- and we're glad it did as it's a warm fuzzies kind of thing.
"After animated bobblehead figures of the Being Mary actress, 41, and Miami Heat basketball star, 32, are shown, footage plays of Wade's proposal, which include the involvement of two of his three sons as well as the nephew he raises. The trio of boys held up signs saying, 'Nickie, will you marry us? (Nickie is Gabrielle's nickname. Her middle name is Monique)'
"You see Wade on one knee, Union saying yes, and a glimpse of the huge sparkler on her finger as they embrace. That's followed by shots of the family celebrating, and the betrothed pair snuggling up a storm. The boys are then back holding up signs that say 'Save the date' for the wedding, which will take place in Miami later this month.
"Of note, this is the digital version of their save the date. They also sent out a paper one, which was heart-shaped and featured moments captured from the video, back in May. So it seems the celebrity pair will scrimp on nothing for their wedding, which is expected to be a star-studded event (It's the second marriage for both)."
Wade is entering his 12th NBA season, all with the Heat. He has averaged 24.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 719 career regular-season games, per ESPN stats.