Heat President Has No Plans for a LeBron Statue or Jersey Retirement, Wade is Miami’s NO.1

Share This Post

Heat President Has No Plans for a LeBron Statue or Jersey Retirement

Pat Riley Announces Wade Statue, No Plans for LeBron James

On January 17th, as reported by David Wilson of the Miami Herald, Miami Heat President Pat Riley announced plans to erect a statue of Dwyane Wade outside their home arena. In a subsequent interview, Riley stated that there are no current plans for a LeBron James statue. Based on Riley’s current stance, the Heat isn’t even considering retiring James’ jersey in the future.

Heat-and-LeBron-James-1
Heat-and-LeBron-James-1

Wade’s Legacy with the Heat

For Wade, the Heat retired his jersey at the FTX Arena, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Spending 15 of his 17-season career with the Heat, he led the team to three NBA championships, holding numerous franchise records. To honor Wade’s contributions, the Heat arranged a halftime celebration during a game against the Charlotte Hornets, where Riley announced the decision to build a statue for Wade.

Heat-and-LeBron-James-2
Heat-and-LeBron-James-2

“When we retired Wade’s jersey in February 2020, I said he will always be a spokesperson for the Heat, embodying the team’s spirit for life. I was serious,” Riley remarked. “Wade’s historical significance is not just lofty for the Heat but also for the city of Miami. I can’t think of a better way to commemorate Wade’s contributions to the Heat and Miami.”

Heat-and-LeBron-James-3
Heat-and-LeBron-James-3

The Statue’s Significance

Riley indicated that Wade’s statue, standing 2.3 meters tall, would be larger than Shaquille O’Neal’s actual height. It will be placed outside the main entrance of the FTX Arena. The announcement was met with cheers at the Heat’s home court, and Wade was visibly moved, fighting back tears. “I didn’t expect this,” he said, choking up. “I’m so grateful.” Wade recalled his childhood in Chicago, seeing Michael Jordan’s statue outside the United Center, and expressed his excitement to have his statue outside the Heat’s home court.

Heat-and-LeBron-James-4
Heat-and-LeBron-James-4

“This wasn’t something I dreamt of, but it’s something I’ve known since I was a kid. Jordan has a statue in Chicago, which was the first legendary statue I saw. At this moment in my life, I believe Jordan felt the same way seeing his statue as the young kids seeing it. Families coming to see Heat games in the future will get a chance to see me and reminisce about those moments,” Wade shared. His statue will mark the first for a player outside the Heat’s arena, setting him apart from all other players in the franchise’s history.

Riley on LeBron James and the Heat Culture

Heat’s arena announcer, Jason Jackson, playfully prodded Riley by asking about plans for a statue of LeBron James, arguably the greatest player in history. “We currently have no plans for a LeBron James statue,” Riley said. “As I’ve said, Wade is the cultural ambassador of the Heat. He is the Heat’s forever icon, and that’s why we’re commemorating Wade for his outstanding contributions to Miami basketball.”

Heat-and-LeBron-James-5
Heat-and-LeBron-James-5

LeBron James joined the Heat as a free agent in the summer of 2010, forming a championship-winning trio with Wade and Chris Bosh. In the summer of 2014, Wade took a pay cut hoping to retain James and Bosh, only for James to unexpectedly return to the Cavaliers. Since then, Riley’s relationship with James has been strained, and he has even stated there are no plans to retire James’ No. 6 jersey with the Heat.

With the Heat not planning a statue or jersey retirement for LeBron James, will the Cavaliers or Lakers consider these honors for him?

Related topic articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More To Explore