Back in 2013, Kobe Bryant inked a two-year, $48.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, which guaranteed that he would finish off his 20-year career in nothing but the purple and gold. With Dwyane Wade entering the twilight of his 13-year career, it wouldn't be all that shocking if he wanted to model his last few seasons after Bryant and sign a deal that would ensure that Miami is the only place he calls home.
Even Wade's friend and Heat teammate LeBron James thought that was how it would all play out. In an interview with ESPN's Cari Champion, Wade revealed how James reacted to contract extension talks with the Heat falling apart.
Transcript, courtesy of Pro Basketball Talk:
"They was in disbelief that I didn’t have any deal that I wanted. Bron always said when we was in Miami, he always said, “D-Wade is going to be like Kobe. He’s going to get that Kobe deal.” So I think their disbelief was, “Why are you even a free agent? You shouldn’t even be.”
Even though Wade has talked about his desire to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls in multiple interviews, it's clear that Pat Riley was never going to give him anything remotely close to the deal Bryant received from the Lakers. Riley may have been "SO saddddddd" to see D-Wade take his talents to Chi-Town, but Miami simply didn't have the cap space to give him a "Kobe deal."
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