MIAMI, Sporting Alert – Dwayne Wade will make his first appearance in Miami since leaving in the offseason when the Chicago Bulls visit the Heat live on TNT and TNT Overtime on Thursday night.
Tip-off time for this NBA game is set for 8:00pm ET.
Wade played his first 13 seasons in the NBA for the Heat before an unsuccessful negotiation over a new deal led to him leaving the franchise.
The veteran guard is off to a promising start with Bulls, averaging 17.9 points, 4.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game in a little over 22-minutes per contest, while shooting a career-high 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
Wade, who will play his 525th game at AmericanAirlines Arena, including the playoffs, says the decision to leave Miami was disappointing but admitted he’s now moved forward.
The three-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat and the 12-time NBA All-Star, revealed that he’s looking forward to playing at the AmericanAirlines Arena again.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Wade told ESPN after scoring 25 points in the win against the Orlando Magic on Monday night.
“I’m looking forward to playing in the environment I played in for 13 years and competing against guys I’ve played with and have relationships with.”
It is understood Miami has put together video highlights of Wade’s career with the Heat, which will be shown during the game’s first timeout.
“I’ll definitely be appreciative of that moment,” he revealed on ESPN. “It will be cool to see the love and support and people being thankful for what I did.
“Unless you are just cold-blooded, you are going to feel something.
“But it’s not like a retirement ceremony where I will have a chance to be real emotional. I’m trying to beat their butt.”
Wade and Bulls (4-4) will take on a new-look Heat (2-4) side that is off to a rough start after losing back-to-back games heading into this clash and dropped four of the past five.
Hassan Whiteside enters this game averaging 17.5 points, 13.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
The big centre, however, was held to just five points in the loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, although he had 12 rebounds and blocked two shots in the defeat.
Point guard Goran Dragic is averaging 18.0 points and 6.2 assists per game this season and Miami will be hoping the veteran point guard can link up with the likes of Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow and help the Heat spoil Wade’s return.