Published 10:06 PM EDT Sep 16, 2018
Dwyane Wade says he has "one last dance" in him as an NBA player. The upcoming season will be the 16th and final one of his storied career.
In a video posted Sunday night on his YouTube channel, Wade said the 2018-19 season will be his last before retiring. Wade said earlier this summer that he would only play for the Miami Heat, and he will reportedly end his career where it started.
"This is the hardest decision that I've ever had to make, but it's one of the best decisions that I've had to make as well," Wade said in the nearly 10-minute video. "To be in this position I'm in, to have the career that I've had, I can't do nothing but smile on it."
Wade returned to the Heat in February, traded back to Miami when things didn't work out with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He spent the prior season with the Chicago Bulls, but Wade became a legend in South Beach before that by winning three championships in 13 years with the Heat.
Clad in a black t-shirt that read #SPOTLIGHTON, Wade stood alone in front of a dark background for the duration of the video. He got choked up and a bit teary at times, including towards the end when he spoke directly to fans.
"I always did things my way," Wade said. "Whether they've been good or they've been bad, I got here because I've done things the way that i feel is right for me and right for my family
"I feel its right to ask you guys to join me for one last dance, one last season. This is it. I've given this game everything that I have, and I'm happy about that, and i'm going to give it for one last season."
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An eight-time All-NBA selection and 12-time All-Star, Wade is already Miami's franchise leader in games, points, assists and steals. He enters his final season with career averages of 22.5 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Wade is also one of just nine players in league history with 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds and 1,500 steals, according to Basketball Reference.
Miami made Wade the fifth overall pick in the 2003 draft, and he became one of the most beloved players in franchise history over the next 13 years. He departed for the hometown Bulls in 2016 and spent one season in Chicago before re-joining one-time teammate LeBron James on the Cavaliers. Wade appeared in 46 games for Cleveland last season before he was traded back to Miami.
Wade is expected to sign a one-year, $2.4 million contract this week to finish out his career.