So much so that the Miami Heat are going to honor their franchise legend with a bronze statue that will sit outside of the Kaseya Center in fall 2024.
Sculptors Omri Amrany and Oscar Leon have been commissioned for the project. Amrany's portfolio includes the Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Dirk Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar statues.
Wade, the 2006 NBA Finals MVP and a three-time champion with the Heat, spent 15 of 16 years in the league with Miami. He owns the franchise records for points, assists, steals, games and minutes played.
"When we retired his jersey in February 2020, I said Dwyane was the face of this franchise forever and I meant it," Riley said. "Dwyane's legacy is a towering one not only for the Miami Heat but for Miami-Wade county. I can't think of a better way to honor him than by memorializing that legacy."
The initial plans for the statue were announced during the Heat's 104-87 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. At a halftime, during a Hall of Fame celebration ceremony for Wade, Riley revealed the news.
More specific details, including the fact that the statue will be 8-feet tall and sit on Biscayne Boulevard, were met with cheers from fans at the game.
"I didn't dream of this..."
D-Wade emotional after finding out the Heat are building him a statue pic.twitter.com/ANeVbc0KBU
— NBA (@NBA) January 15, 2024
Wade, who was back at the Kaseya Center for his bobblehead night, was at a loss for words when Riley revealed his real motive for bringing him to the game.
"From 21 years old 'til 37, I grew up here," Wade said during the ceremony. "A lot of the fan base, they grew up with me. ... There's no love like Miami love, and every time I come back here I feel that."