Miami Dolphins legend Jason Taylor provided some perspective on the Dwyane Wade situation, having gone through a somewhat similar situation as his playing career wrapped up.
“First off, Dwyane’s in a different stratosphere than I ever was,” Taylor said on the Ethan Skolnick Show with Chris Wittyngham on Friday. “What he means to South Florida sports, I mean there’s only one other guy that’s in the class with him and that’s [Dan] Marino in my opinion. I’ve had to deal with a similar situation a couple times because of an executive that had a different set of plans.
“I think unlike the Miami Heat and Pat Riley in this particular situation, I think [Bill] Parcells was in it for one thing and obviously didn’t get a whole lot done here. I think [he] really set the Dolphins organization back a bunch of years by doing what he did and taking the money and leaving… [I] did not want to leave. Made it very clear I did not want to leave and I was promised I was not being traded and four or five days later, being in the Dolphins locker room and seeing your name go across the scroll on the bottom was difficult to deal with.”
Taylor stressed it’s important to remember sports remain a business first.
“Unfortunately in pro sports, there’s a business side of this thing that people don’t understand,” he said. “Fans are going to be fanatical — that’s what the definition of a fan is. They love their team and their allegiance is to their team more times than not. That’s understandable.
“At the end of the day, when you get done playing and can relax a little bit, you start to let some things go and you understand it is what it was and you let it go. Dwyane has done way too much for the Heat organization to not have his jersey retired. My name was put up in Dolphin Stadium. If my name’s up there, D Wade’s should be on the name of the county in Miami.”
We actually already saw glimpses of both Wade and the Heat showing immense respect both ways. The Heat pumped out a campaign thanking Wade and honoring him in the Miami Herald and across their social media platforms.
And Wade sang Riley’s praises when talking to the media at his camp in Miami over the weekend.
Wade, "First and foremost, I love Pat Riley . . . but, at the same time, he has a job to do….But I love Pat and I will always love Pat."
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 9, 2016
So just days after the divorce and already the hostility has simmered — at least publicly.
Not only will Wade have his jersey soar to the American Airlines Arena rafters but he’ll have a statue in Downtown Miami as well. After all it is Wade County.
Jason Taylor on Ethan Skolnick Show with Chris Wittyngham [790 the Ticket]