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Dwyane Wade writes letter to Miami fans after leaving Heat for Bulls

Read Dwyane Wade’s letter to Miami fans after he decided to leave the Heat and join the Bulls.
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After 13 seasons and three titles with the Heat, Dwyane Wade is off to Chicago.

The longtime face of Miami’s franchise wrote a letter to Miami fans, which he gave to the Associated Press, following his decision on Wednesday night to depart in free agency.

Read the full text of Wade’s letter below.

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Dear Miami,

This has been an extremely emotional and tough decision to come to. After 13 years, I have decided to embark on a new journey with the Chicago Bulls. This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family.

I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships. I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community and especially #HEATNATION for all of their love and support over the years. It has been truly incredible. I am deeply moved and appreciative of the positive messages from my fans expressing that they want what's best for me and I know they will support my decision. The memories including championship parades and five conference titles are incredible moments we have shared that will always remain close to my heart as I begin the next chapter of my life.

Growing up in Robbins, Ill., I never dreamed that an NBA career could have even been possible and that one day I would wear a Chicago Bulls jersey. Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game. Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart.

I look forward to returning to my roots and to what lies ahead.

Much Love and Respect,

D. Wade

Wade won NBA titles with the Heat in 2006, 2012 and 2013 and had spent his entire career with the team after being drafted No. 5 overall in 2003.

Wade, 34, is a native of Robbins, Ill. in Chicago’s south suburbs.

[Associated Press]