Before Dwyane Wade signed with the Chicago Bulls in free agency, there were reports that he could consider joining his friend LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He would have had to take much less money, but the Cavs would have given him a legitimate chance at winning a fourth title. In an interview with SLAM's Leo Sepkowitz, Wade confirmed that Cleveland was an option, but said that he didn't like he'd fit there:
Wade insists that this is all about Chicago.
"For me, it's as simple as, I got a deal in Miami for $41 million, I got a deal in Chicago for $47 million," Wade says. "It didn't come down to the money. I thought about Cleveland, but I didn't fit there. You don't just do something because, Oh, I could win the ring there. I have three rings. I don't need to chase the ring. This is what I wanted to do. I couldn't fight it. If you fight it, you're gonna always be like, You shoulda, or, What could've--I don't like to live my life like that."
There are a couple of things happening here. Wade is saying that he followed his heart to the Bulls, and he couldn't fight his instincts about wanting to play at home. He is also saying that the Cavaliers were not a good fit. That latter part is interesting.
Basketball-wise, it's difficult to argue that Chicago is a better fit than Cleveland for Wade. If he had joined the Cavaliers, he could have slid right into the starting shooting guard spot occupied by J.R. Smith last season. He already has great chemistry with LeBron James, and the division of playmaking responsibility wouldn't be as big of a problem as it is with the Bulls because the Cavs have much better shooting.
My interpretation: Wade thinks he didn't fit in the city of Cleveland. After 13 years with the Miami Heat, if he was going to move his family anywhere, it was going to be his hometown. That felt right to him in a way that going to the Cavs wouldn't have.
Wade made his debut for Chicago on Monday and made a couple of 3-pointers. Everything about it was weird, but it sounds like he thinks it would have been weirder in Cleveland.