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For many athletes, including Dwyane Wade, the final chapter is a tough one

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How much is loyalty worth? How many dollars? How many dimes?

Take, for instance, the case was Dwyane Wade, who used to work for the Miami Heat?

Today, there are a lot of people sighing at the image of Wade as a Chicago Bull after 13 seasons in the NBA. It’s easy to find opinions that the Heat should have offered more or that Wade should have taken less. They find it hard to imagine Wade, in his fading years in the league, wearing Bulls colors.

Sadly, this is the state of sports when payroll exceeds production. And it’s the latest example of a sad final chapter.

The Bulls are paying Wade $47.5 million over the next two seasons. It’s hard to ask Wade to take less. It’s also hard to ask the Heat to pay more. Wade is no longer among the league’s top handful of stars.

You almost get the impression that the Heat didn’t want Wade to return for $20 million a year. After all, he and Pat Riley – and what better does Riley have on his day-planner? – never met during negotiations. ESPN reported that the relationship between Wade and Riley was “in tatters.”

For Wade, this is how it ends. It ended with Joe Montana playing for the Chiefs and Johnny Unitas for the Chargers and Willie Mays for the Mets. It ended with Warren Sapp playing for the Raiders and Anthony Munoz for the Bucs and Joe Namath for the Rams.

It ends badly, no matter the cost.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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