A teary-eyed Dwyane Wade paused before telling Pat Riley he’s “very grateful” when it was revealed that the Miami Heat will be erecting a statue in front of Kaseya Center in Wade’s honor.
"I didn't dream of this, though. I'm very grateful,” Wade said from midcourt at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. “I can't wait for that day."
The Heat announced that a bronze Dwyane Wade statue will be unveiled in the fall of this year in front of the arena. It will be the first statue honoring a Heat player built in front of the arena in downtown Miami.
During a halftime ceremony, Heat president Pat Riley made the announcement in front of a packed Kaseya Center. Wade choked back tears as fans cheered.
“When we retired his jersey in February 2020, I said Dwyane was the face of this franchise forever and I meant it,” Riley said in a statement. “Dwyane’s legacy is a towering one not only for the Miami HEAT but for Miami-Wade County. I can’t think of a better way to honor him than by memorializing that legacy.”
Wade was being honored for his Hall of Fame induction when the announcement of the statue was made. Wade played 15 seasons with the Heat, where he was named an All-Star 13 times and won three championships. He is inarguably the greatest player in franchise history.
“I definitely feel that gives me a little bit more ability to be able to say this is my house,” Wade said. “It’s not something I dreamed of, but it's something I definitely grew up knowing about.
Wade said he looks forward to helping children create memories when they visit Kaseya Center, the way he did when he saw Michael Jordan’s statue in his hometown of Chicago.
“Michael Jordan had a statue in Chicago, and it was the first statue I've ever seen,” Wade said. “And so to be able to, at this point in my life, know that the same feeling I had when Jordan had his statue was the same one the young kids … will have, to be able to create memories and moments in front of this arena.”
Sculptors Omri Amrany and Oscar León of Fine Art Studio Rotblatt Amrany have been commissioned to create the Wade statue. Amrany’s works of retired NBA stars include the iconic “Michael Jordan Spirit” in Chicago, as well as statues of Shaquille O’Neal, Dirk Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among many others. León’s works include a bronze of baseball Hall of Famer Nellie Fox as well as several commercial installations.
The design of the statue has yet to be revealed, but it’s safe to say Wade’s iconic This is my house pose will be considered.
“I just never knew it was possible for me,” Wade said. “But I'm super honored to be here and to be able to get that from Pat in front of the fans.”