Dwyane Wade has come home to Chicago in part because Bulls’ management was embarrassed not making the playoffs and they are counting on the three-time NBA champ, the 12-time All-Star, to turn things around.
Wade wants to do much more than that.
He is coming home to a city torn apart by violence — one where his cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was shot pushing her stroller down the street — and he wants to take steps to end the cycle of violence, he told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.”
“My purpose for being back in the city is bigger than basketball. Basketball is a big part of it, of course; it’s what I do for a living,” said Wade, who signed last month with the Bulls. “But I think my purpose at the end of the day hopefully is to come to Chicago and be a part, be a voice that can help bring people together…
“Now I’m back in the city of Chicago — I’m back for a reason,” Wade said. “I played 13 years in Miami. Now I’m back in the city, let me see what I can do as one person to help lend my voice and help shed light on the tragedy that’s going on and find a solution to start the process of making change.”
Wade talked about the role of police and legislatures in making that change a reality.
“They are fighting a war,” Wade said of Chicago police. “And they can do a lot better, but they can get more help, as well, to do better. There’s other cities that have way tougher gun laws. We have weak gun laws.”
The Chicago PD released a statement in response to Wade’s interviewing saying they are fighting a war on crime but that they do need help in that battle.
It’s going to take a lot more than Wade to change the cycle of violence in Chicago, but that change will need leaders to help push it along.
If Wade can be one of those leaders it will be an accomplishment bigger and more important than anything he has done on the court.