D-Wade on Miami R3turn: "It was a lot of emotions"
It was a beautiful night coated with tears of joy in South Beach as 12-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade has gone full circle by making his triumphant return on Friday night - now as a member of the Miami Heat.
Wade, who left Miami two years ago to join his hometown Chicago on a two-year $47M deal, signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season before being dealt by the Cavaliers back to the Heat for a second-round pick on Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
The former Marquette star played his first 14 seasons with the Heat averaging 23.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists while helping the franchise win three NBA titles during the course of his first stint with the team.
And the ruckus crowd showed their appreciation to the former All-Star who entered at 1:30 mark of the first quarter giving him a well-deserved standing ovation in their 91-85 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks.
"It was a lot of emotions but for me I was trying to focus on, trying to relearn everything on the fly. Try to not make too many mistakes and I'm trying to learn on my new teammates," Wade told reporters during the postgame interview.
It wasn't a vintage night for the 2006 NBA Finals' Most Valuable Player (MVP) as he struggled shooting on the field finishing with just three points, two rebounds and two assists while hitting just one of his six field goal attempts but his presence was felt defensively as he tallied two blocks and two steals to help the Heat flip the script and snap a five-game losing skid.
The victory gave Miami (30-26) some distance over the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers (27-25) as they solidified their hold of the seventh spot taking a one-game lead over the latter while putting themselves just one-game behind of the Indiana Pacers which has a 31-25 card.
However, Wade believes that he could've done a lot more to the team but the 36-year-old veteran is just grateful to be able to win the game and vows to bounce back and have a much better game on Tuesday against Conference leader, Toronto Raptors.
"I would love to go 6 for 6 but I'm trying to get used to everything.Tonight I thought was a success because we got the W," Wade said. "It's gonna take some time. I just wanna get better every game,"
Asked how it felt like to return to the Heat, Wade expressed nothing but pure pleasure calling Miami as his home away from home while recognizing his job of learning from his new teammates.
"I actually felt normal. It sounds right. It's second nature. It definitely feels good to be here, so much to learn about this guys' talent," Wade quipped.
He might not be the Flash the league used to know but Wade's return would surely give the Heat some needed inspiration come Playoff time as they look forward to changing the script that has gone for a while now.