Dwyane Wade has barely been retired for five years, and he’s already reached legend status.
The energy, lore (and three championships) he brought to the Miami Heat already put him in a league of his own, but now the franchise is solidifying his accomplishments. Making Heat history, Wade will become the team’s first player to be honored with a statue.
The Heat retired his number Sunday night, and as president Pat Riley talked to a seated Wade at center court, he explained that he’d like to put a bigger bobblehead outside Kaseya Center, adding that he wanted it to be larger than Shaquille O’Neal’s.
“It is the first statue here on Biscayne Boulevard, and it is forever for the greatest player in the history of this game. You know I love you,” Riley says as an animated graphic depicts the statue being dropped off in front of the Kaseya Center.
Pat Riley released a statement explaining how much Wade means to the Heat fan base and thought a statue would be the perfect way to say thank you for adding to the team’s greatness.
“When we retired his jersey in February 2020, I said Dwyane was the face of this franchise forever, and I meant it,” Riley said in an official statement according to NBA.com. “Dwyane’s legacy is a towering one not only for the Miami HEAT but for Miami-Wade County. I can’t think of a better way to honor him than by memorializing that legacy.”
According to the NBA, Fine Art Studio Rotblatt Amrany’s Omri Amrany and Oscar León were commissioned to build the 8-foot-tall bronze statue. Amrany is used to immortalize NBA greats, having created statues for Michael Jordan in Chicago, as well as Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dirk Nowitzki in their respective cities of impact. León’s work is more commercial, having worked with McDonald’s, but also designed the statue of Baseball Hall of Fame Player and Chicago White Sox Nellie Fox, which sits in the windy city’s Guaranteed Rate’s Field, formerly U.S. Cellular Field.
At Sunday’s ceremony, Wade spoke about how much Miami means to him despite coming of age in Chicago.
“I was born and raised in Chicago, but this is where I grew up,” Wade said. “From 21 years old ’til 37, I grew up here. A lot of the fan base, they grew up with me. There’s no love like Miami love, and every time I come back here, I feel that.”
The statue’s unveiling is scheduled for next fall, with an exact date to be announced later.
See below how social media is reacting to the honoring of Wade.
Dwyane Wade To Make History As 1st Miami Heat Player With Statue Outside Arena was originally published on cassiuslife.com