Pat Riley salutes Dwyane Wade ahead of guard’s Hall of Fame induction

FILE - Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) scores on a dunk as New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire (1) and Tyson Chandler (6) look on in the first half of an NBA basketball game in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in Miami, April 28, 2012. Wade was announced Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, as being among the finalists for enshrinement later this year by the Basketball Hall of Fame. The class will be revealed on April 1. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Dwyane Wade will go into the basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

Heat President Pat Riley reflected on the remarkable career of the 3-time champion during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.

Riley said, “The Hall of Fame is sacred ground... Everything he did in his career has gotten him here. He’s a 3-time champion, he’s respected, he’s going on to do even better things than he did in the NBA on the court.”

Riley said it’ll be an honor to be there, “And for him to be a Miami Heat lifer... to be inducted and have the Hall of Fame on his jersey up in the rafters is going to be an honor.”

Riley talked about the up-and-down relationship with Wade.

Riley said as a coach he drove Wade hard, “I loved him, we argued, he knew that I thought he was great, and I was going to put him in the position to the guy to lead us to a Championship.”

When Wade went to Chicago, Riley described that as a separation that they worked out together.

Riley said, “We’re fused at the hip together... We helped each other get to where we wanted to get to, World Champions, Hall of Fame... I love him dearly.”

Riley reflected on the Big Three Era of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.

RIley said in 2006, Wade led the Heat to a Championship.

During the Big Three Era, “In 2011, when the Big Three failed... We had a meeting and I said ‘you guys have to figure this out. You have to figure out the pecking order of how this is going to work.’”

Riley said Wade, James, and Bosh went to the Bahamas, came to an agreement and they lived with it. LeBron was the alpha, Wade was second, and Bosh was third.

Riley described Wade as very unselfish with his decision to take a step back for the good of the team.

On Wade’s return from Chicago, “When he left it was like a cooling off period... it wasn’t born out of petulance... He got a great deal from Chicago and he decided to leave. When he left there were hard feelings on both sides, but they weren’t lethal.”

Riley said he was “wide-opened armed” when Wade wanted to come back to Miami.

The Heat President said sometimes the sports can get in the way of relationships, but you have to work it out.

At the end of his career, Riley said of Wade, “He became smarter, he became more mature, he became more poised... he’s smart as hell, he has a high IQ, he’s married to a great woman... Everything he takes on, he takes on with great sincerity and I admire him for that.”

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.