It was more than Dwyane Wade simply being retrospective the eve before seeing his good friend, and former teammate, LeBron James in a preseason game.
It was a history lesson taking place at the Advocate Center on Thursday afternoon, with Professor Wade explaining the details of how the “Big Three’’ came together back in 2010, how close it was to happening with the Bulls, and more importantly, the impact that it left on the NBA.
“Three young African-American kids got the opportunity to control their own destiny and call their own shots,’’ Wade said of the footprint that he, James and Chris Bosh left in the Association’s history books. “We definitely knew it was real big. We knew we had to win to make it something. We knew we were embarking on something big. You don’t know exactly what it is, we won’t know for years from now. I think we all had an idea that this is about to be huge.’’
It was, as Miami made it to four-straight NBA Finals, winning two, before the trio broke up when James left to return home to Cleveland prior to the 2014-15 season.
And Miami’s gain was the Bulls’ loss.
Wade met with the Bulls twice that offseason, and James was all in on joining the Bulls, as well. The problem was Bosh was the odd-man out, and according to Wade, when the Bulls couldn’t move Luol Deng to afford Bosh, the idea of the “Big Three’’ being Wade, James and Derrick Rose didn’t carry the weight.
“It was gonna be kind of a sense where Chicago could’ve got two players and it probably was going to be LeBron and Chris or me and Chris,’’ Wade said. “It kind of was more so that effect, that they could only do two. And Miami was able to get all three of us. And we really wanted to play together at that moment once we found out it could be a thing.
“I mean, this was a place I wanted to play. It was a place that LeBron also loved. We loved the city of Chicago. It’s a great market as well. Obviously, the sunny sun of Miami is great too. We had two great choices. It pretty much boiled down to what we felt we could build.
“So instead of it being me, LeBron and Derrick Rose, it’s going to be a tough one. So we decided to pick what we thought was better from a basketball standpoint.’’
Wade said the problem with teaming with Rose was it would have been three ball-dominant players on the court at once.
“At that time, I don’t think it would’ve worked out for us,’’ Wade said. “We took our two ball-dominant selves away from having three guys as ball dominant.’’
They also took Bosh, and all headed back down to Miami, allowing Wade to play in his home away from home, and play with two guys he felt more comfortable with.
And while Wade is proud of the two rings it produced, he seemed even more proud of the aftermath of what they did.
“At the end of the day whether you dislike the Heat or you loved the Heat, you were tuning in to watch the Heat,’’ Wade said. “Same thing with Golden State. Whether you dislike what happened with Kevin Durant or whatever the case maybe, you’re going to tune in to watch, whether you want him to succeed or fail.
“Eyes are on our game. And at the end of the day, me as a player, I just love the fact that players have the ability to control their own destiny.’’