ATLANTA – Sometimes the hype just can’t be downplayed.
There was Dwyane Wade on Wednesday, spending another media session once again answering questions about the highly-anticipated return to Miami Thursday night.
His first since he left South Beach after he spent the first 13 years of his NBA career playing there.
The topic this time was the break-up. Specifically, the fact that Wade admitting that he hasn’t spoken to Heat president Pat Riley since leaving via free agency to join the Bulls.
“I know who Pat is,’’ Wade said. “It’s no secret to me. If you’re not with him, you’re against him. That’s just the way he is. You gotta understand that, man.
“I’m cool with it. I’m fine, 100 percent. I was there 13 years. I’ve seen a lot of video tributes. I’ve seen a lot of players come in and go out. And I’ve seen the way he has responded to them. And I know if you’re not with him, you’re against him.’’
The next video tribute Wade will see will be his own, and while he said he still wasn’t sure how the emotions will grab him in returning to his first NBA home, he has a very clear conscience with how he left.
Most thought Wade would re-sign with the Heat, but when they started courting the likes of Kevin Durant and throwing money at Hassan Whiteside, putting Wade on the backburner, Wade fell into the lap of the Bulls.
And while Wade has remained in contact with almost everyone else in the Heat organization, it hasn’t happened with Riley.
“I haven’t talked to him. Simple as that,’’ Wade said. “I think I’ve been very open and honest about my respect and love for Pat. But I’ve also been honest that I haven’t spoken to him since the season ended.’’
The schedule makers didn’t do Wade many favors, considering it’s the second game of a back-to-back, but Wade sounded like a guy that will try to enjoy the moment.
“I’m going to go sleep in my bed for about three hours,’’ Wade said. “But I’m going to take advantage of the moments I’m there. I’m going to take advantage of my loved ones that are there, my family and friends that are around, and go out and compete in an arena that I played for 13 years, an environment that I’m used to. It’s going to be fun from that aspect.’’