In the days leading up to LeBron James officially declaring that he would be leaving the Miami Heat to return home to play for the Cavaliers, he and Dwyane Wade were together in Las Vegas on a pre-arranged trip.
The two were seen hanging out publicly, which may have fueled speculation that a deal to bring everyone back was in the works.
But as it turned out, it was their last outing together as teammates.
It’s not exactly a short flight home from Vegas to Miami, and Wade said he knew what LeBron had decided once they got off the plane — even though he wouldn’t get the final word until the following day.
When [Wade] and LeBron James shared a flight from Las Vegas last month, he could tell there was something different about his former teammate.
All it took was noticing James’ body language.
“Yeah, I went to sleep knowing,” Wade said Friday before his annual Fantasy Basketball Camp at the Westin Diplomat Hotel. “He called me the next day. But I knew then. Obviously he still had to say the final yay or nay, but I knew. I could tell.” …
“As his friend, I’m just supportive,” said Wade, who made no recruiting pitches to James. “As crazy as that might sound, I’m supportive of my friends doing what makes them happy. Obviously, same thing with him in this situation. You’ve gotta do what makes you happy — selfishly do what makes you happy. The decision to go back home was that.”
Wade has been declining from an effectiveness standpoint as he’s gotten older the past couple of seasons, and the reality James likely saw was one that featured an increasingly difficult road to championship contention, especially given the difficulty the team had in substantially upgrading the roster in the early days of free agency.
There are no hard feelings on Wade’s end, it appears, and he and James remain friends who speak regularly. Being that close to someone, however, it can be obvious what their feelings are even before they’re expressed.