This is and forever will be HIS house. pic.twitter.com/cmRYZS2Sgf— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 23, 2020
"Kobe said the most important thing is to try to inspire others so they can be great in whatever they try to do," an emotional Wade said, per ESPN. "I hope I inspired you. Thank you for making me a part of your legacy. Please know you're a huge part of mine."
Following the jersey retirement ceremony, Wade expanded on his comments about Kobe. "The impact that the passing of Kobe has done on myself and so many others is it's made us sit down and stop," the three-time NBA champion said. "Life goes so fast. We move at a rapid pace. It's made me enjoy the moment more. It's made me want to create more memories. It definitely put a lot of things in perspective. As athletes, we're looked at as superheroes. We looked at Kobe as a superhero."
Wade continued, "That moment has touched all of us and will continue to. Kobe was leading the way -- he retired and showed us in his next act after retirement that you can master that as well. He mastered basketball, he mastered being an amazing father, he mastered being a husband, he mastered being a creator. He was showing us the way and now we don't have that. So I do have a responsibility to be that guy and show the way for the next generation."
During his speech, Wade also thanked his family, fans, coaches, teammates, Pat Riley, and others. Wade also passed on the proverbial torch to Zaire, his 18-year-old son. "This is it," he said. "I'm getting out of your way now."
You can watch Wade's speech up top via YouTube. Saturday's ceremony is part of a three-day celebration for Wade, which started on Friday.