New Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade acknowledged his strained relationship with Pat Riley on Saturday, three days after ending his 13-year stint with the Miami Heat.
“It’s going to be a lot of stuff said about me and Pat. First of all, I love Pat. He has a job to do. He has a different hat to wear,” Wade told reporters at his youth basketball camp in downtown Miami. “That hat sometimes is not to be my best friend. That hat is to be the president of the organization and to be a businessman, and that sucks.
“You love each other, but the business side comes out, and you have to deal with it.”
Wade, who helped the Heat win three NBA championships, said he understood the difficult position Riley is sometimes placed in as the team’s president.
According to The Associated Press, Wade accepted a two-year, $47 million deal to join the Bulls, his hometown team, over the two-year, $40 million offer the Heat put out for him.
Riley and Wade didn’t have any direct contact during the negotiations, sources told ESPN’s Michael Wallace. But Wade’s representatives and the Heat had maintained open lines of communication, and Wade dealt directly with owner Micky Arison late in contract negotiations over the past two years.