I’m not going to lie: after all the ink that was spilled last year over the bile and vitriol behind the divorce between Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley that led to the 12-time All-Star leaving the Miami Heat to sign with the Chicago Bulls, I was flat-out stunned to see that Riley had brought Wade back to Miami on Thursday (for the cost of just a second-round pick!) as part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ midseason reconstruction project/exorcism. Maybe I shouldn’t have been — both sides have spoken of the possibility in the past year — but I was. May I never again doubt the restorative powers of a good, strong hug.
Or, even better, may I never again doubt the power of a marketing opportunity whose time has come.
Almost immediately after news of Thursday’s trade began to spread, it became very clear that, some 20 months after Wade played his last game in South Beach, the appetite among Heat fans to see the franchise legend back in his old familiar jersey was incredibly strong … and that the desire to see him in Miami’s new colors was even stronger.