Wade makes it official, signs with Cleveland
The wake-up calls for Dwyane Wade were coming at 5:45 a.m. for much of the summer. An hour or so later, he and LeBron James would be in the gym together working on their games.
And the chemistry was as good as ever. “He drives me to want to be better,” Wade said.
They’ll be grinding together on a daily basis now.
Wade signed a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday to reunite with James, with whom he went to four NBA Finals and won two championships in Miami. Wade’s deal was finalized quickly after he cleared waivers, which he had to do after getting a buyout from the Chicago Bulls over the weekend.
“I’m all about the challenge,” Wade told The Associated Press. “If I didn’t want the challenge, I would have stayed in Chicago. But I wanted the challenge of being back on that big stage and playing in those moments and seeing what I’ve got. So I’m not going to talk about what I’ve got. I want to go out there and show, when the lights are the brightest and the games are the biggest, that’s when I’m alive. And I need that.”
He took a hard look at going back to Miami, listened to sales pitches from Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City, even considered San Antonio and got a call from Golden State.
But in the end, he wanted to play again with James — someone Wade calls his brother.
“I definitely think I can help him in different ways,” Wade told the AP via phone as he sat in his new locker room. “He is, in today’s game, the greatest basketball player that we have. So he doesn’t need me to help him be great. But there’s other areas that I’ve been able to be there, to help him think about things a certain way. He knows I’m going to put the work in with him.”