HANG TIME, Texas — Sometimes I dream that he is me. Got to see that’s how I dream to be.
Seems that superstar Dwyane Wade is not much different from every other little kid who ever pulled on a Bulls jersey and wanted to be like Mike.
The Windy City native told Chicago Tribune Live that he nearly drank the Gatorade and made a return to his hometown two years ago when Michael Jordan’s old team topped off the free agent recruiting pitch by presenting him with a jersey that bore his name and number.
“It was very tough, it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make in my life,” Wade explained in reference to his visit to Chicago two years ago. ”I’m a Chicago guy and I grew up idolizing the Chicago Bulls, idolizing Michael Jordan and wanted to wear that jersey. So the day I went for the Chicago visit and they gave me the No. 3 jersey, I mean, that day messed me up. I went back home and I had the jersey on and, I mean, I turned into a kid again.”
Of course, if Wade had been swayed by his emotions and gone home, this summer wouldn’t be so gloomy in Chicago, since the Bulls would still have had Wade’s talent to fall back on while Derrick Rose rehabs the torn ACL that will keep him sidelined for a big portion of the upcoming season.
“You just feel bad for him,” Wade said of Rose. “We all deal with injuries and every time you deal with an injury, you hope it’s not the big one. You hope it won’t end your season. So to see a guy like D-Rose, who was battling injuries all year, minor injuries, and then it took its toll. And it was sad to see.”
And although it made the path for the Heat to the NBA Finals easier, Wade insists that, as a fan of basketball, it was tough to watch Rose depart early.
“We didn’t want to see it and we want to play the Bulls. We want to play the best teams,” Wade said. “We want him and his family to be fine, so to hear he was in high spirits and doing well, outside looking in, as a fan of the game, I’m excited for him.”
Despite the success of his Heat claiming the 2012 NBA crown, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden reaching The Finals with OKC and now Dwight Howard and Steve Nash joining up with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in L.A., Wade insisted that it doesn’t take a gang of superstars to form a championship team.
“I think Derrick has a very good team. You don’t need multiple stars to win a championship. Just look at the Detroit Pistons in 2004, they didn’t have stars. They had very good players and they had a a deep team. So you don’t need multiple stars, Wade said. “Chicago has a very good team, a very deep team the last two years that we’ve seen.
“So I’m not rooting for the Bulls to win a championship at all, but you never know what’s going to happen.”
Or what might have happened to the balance of the league if the kid deep inside D-Wade had felt just a little more of the tug to be like Mike.