Dwyane Wade is leaving. After 13 years with the Miami Heat, Wade is leaving the only NBA team he has known. He’s leaving, like LeBron James did two years ago, to return home. In Wade’s case, he’s headed to the Chicago Bulls -- a team he grew up with as a kid in the southern suburbs of that city.
Chicago is a city I spent almost 15 years in before moving to South Florida. Like Wade, I know both places well. They are both special places for those of us lucky to have lived and love them both.
Miami is the Magic City.
Chicago is the Second City.
Miami is the only major U.S. city founded by a woman.
Chicago made its name as the hog butcher for the world.
Miami comes from the Calusa word meaning big water.
Chicago is a derivative of the Algonquin word for a wild onion.
Miami is sunshine and ocean breezes.
Chicago is the City of Big Shoulders.
Miami has Florida rooms and lanais.
Chicago is where the skyscraper began.
Miami is bikinis and croquetas.
Chicago is mittens and deep dish.
Miami is mojitos and caipirinhas.
Chicago is a shot and a beer.
Miami is bass and salsa and EDM.
Chicago is blues.
Chicago reversed the flow of a river.
In South Florida, we drained almost an entire eco-system.
Miami had Dwyane Wade. And LeBron James. It still has Chris Bosh.
Chicago had Michael Jordan. And Scottie Pippen. And Dennis Rodman.
Miami, with Wade, had three trophies.
Chicago, with Jordan, had three trophies. In a row. Twice.
Everyone is from someplace. Most of us in South Florida aren’t from South Florida, like you Dwyane. Many of us came for new opportunities, new horizons, new dreams. Some were running away. Some of us came taking a chance on a new place with an abundance of ambition and no real blueprint other than spirit and hard work.
You can't change where you're from. You can change where you're at and where you're going.
Hopefully, none of that, though, changes who you are. Dwyane Wade, you are a Heat champion and always will be.