It was announced on Wednesday that Dwayne Wade would move from the Miami Heat to the Chicago Bulls, leaving behind the team at which he has spent his entire career.

Shortly after the news became public, the NBA superstar released an open letter to Miami Heat fans and the city of Miami as a whole. In the letter, which was released to the Associated Press, Wade says that it was “an extremely emotional and tough decision” to leave.

“I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships,” he writes. “I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together.”

He singles out Miami Heat fans, praising them for their support throughout the years, but finishes up by explaining that his Illinois roots mean the Bulls have always had a special place in his heart.

You can read Dwayne Wade’s letter in full below.

“Dear Miami,”

“This has been an extremely emotional and tough decision to come to. After 13 years, I have decided to embark on a new journey with the Chicago Bulls. This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family.”

“I started my NBA career with the Miami Heat in 2003 and it has been an honor to have played with them and help build a winning franchise with three NBA championships. I look back with pride and amazement at all we have accomplished together. I want to express my gratitude to the Arison family, Pat Riley, Coach Erik Spoelstra, the coaching staff, and the entire Miami Heat organization.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the Miami community and especially #HEATNATION for all of their love and support over the years. It has been truly incredible. I am deeply moved and appreciative of the positive messages from my fans expressing that they want what’s best for me and I know they will support my decision. The memories including championship parades and five conference titles are incredible moments we have shared that will always remain close to my heart as I begin the next chapter of my life.”

“Growing up in Robbins, Ill., I never dreamed that an NBA career could have even been possible and that one day I would wear a Chicago Bulls jersey. Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player. My most treasured memories were watching my dad play basketball on the courts of Fermi Elementary School and developing my game at the Blue Island Recreation Center. I have never forgotten where I came from and I am thankful to have an opportunity to play for the team that first fueled my love of the game. Many of my family members still live in Chicago and I am excited to return home to a city very close to my heart.”

“I look forward to returning to my roots and to what lies ahead.”

“Much Love and Respect,”

“D. Wade”

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Life Editor

Daniel is the editor of Highsnobiety Life. He grew up in north of England and is now based in Berlin.

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