When Dwayne Wade signed with the Bulls back in 2016, Heat president Pat Riley had some choice words for him. Their relationship has been strained ever since, with much focus put on how heartbroken Riley was to lose Wade to another team. "I truly loved Dwyane, but families grow, change, and get on with another life," Riley said in a statement at the time. "He will always be a part of us."
Wade said he was "never bashing Pat Riley" or the Heat by leaving Miami, but the business side of things made everything seem a lot more ugly than it would have been otherwise. "First and foremost, I love Pat Riley," Wade explained. Now, it appears as if the two have been brought together again to mend their relationship, with ESPN reporting that the two reunited at a funeral for Wade's former agent Henry Thomas in Chicago in January.
Up until his death, Thomas had a strong relationship with Riley and the Heat, but he's also the agent responsible for Wade leaving Miami. During the funeral, Wade said he and Riley hugged it out and decided to put their past differences behind them. "The hug that we embraced was real and it was all we needed," Wade explained. "That's it. That's all we both needed. I walked away and I felt better about everything, without even getting into everything."
Riley also expressed his desire to move on from the past during a conference call on Thursday shortly after the Cavaliers traded Wade back to the team that drafted him in 2003. "For all of you who know me, warriors don't live in the past. Life is now," Riley said. "And the future is waiting. Based on what happened with Dwyane and us the last couple of years, there's no bitterness and no regrets. We've always talked about that. Micky [Arison] is very pro Dwyane. Coach [Erik Spoelstra] is very pro Dwyane. I am. It was a sad day when Dwyane left and it's a beautiful day that he's back."
With Wade now back where he started with Heat, it was about time he and Riley made their peace. It's just crazy that it took a hug at a funeral for them to start the process of doing it.