(Reuters) - Dwyane Wade received a rousing welcome back to Miami on Thursday as he returned to the site of past glory with his new team the Chicago Bulls.
Leading the Bulls to a 98-95 victory over the Heat, the 34-year-old Wade closed the book on his Heat days and the most successful chapter of his career.
“It’s one of the weirdest games I’ve ever played in. I’m glad it’s over,” Wade told reporters after finishing with 13 points on just 5-for-17 shooting.
“There were so many emotions in coming back, but I tried not thinking about the game. I’m just glad we got the win.”
Wade surprised the basketball world in the off-season when he left as a free agent to sign with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat franchise, but the fans showed no ill will in his first trip back.
Prior to tipoff, the American Airlines Arena played a lengthy tribute that spanned Wade being drafted by the team in 2003 as the fifth overall pick, to his helping Miami capture three championships.
Once Wade took the court, he was given a lengthy standing ovation by an appreciative crowd that included Heat President Pat Riley.
Riley and Wade enjoyed a sustained run together with the Heat, but endured a public disagreement during contract negotiations that ultimately led to the 12-time NBA All Star departing.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both)