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Dwyane Wade reflects on Heat, says he always wanted to play with the Bulls

Check out his highlight reel with with Marquette and his greatest moments

Dwyane Wade is going home, making what he called “an extremely emotional and tough decision” on Wednesday night to leave the Miami Heat after 13 seasons and sign with the Chicago Bulls.

Wade co-hosted Live with Kelly! on Wednesday morning, where he spoke about appearing on the show in Michael Strahan’s vacated spot and his free agency experience.

I was more nervous about this than everything that happened last night,” Wade told Kelly Ripa. “It’s still surreal. I’m still numb. This decision that I had to make last night, I mean, I’ve been in Miami for 13 years, 13 incredible years. I lost probably five to 10 pounds just not being able to eat.”

He said he always wanted to play for the Bulls.

“I’m born and raised in Chicago,” Wade said. “I’m excited to go back to the place I’ve always envisioned playing basketball. Being a kid, growing up, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls was the team for us. I’ve always envisioned myself … being in the backyard, I always had a Bulls jersey on and always envisioned Dwyane Wade’s name being called in the United Center, and I get the opportunity to live that dream out.”

Wade will sign a two-year deal with the Bulls, one that will pay him about $47 million. Miami offered $40 million over two years for Wade to stay in the uniform that he’s worn his entire career, the one in which he was an All-Star 12 times, a champion three times and the NBA Finals MVP in 2006 when his rise to superstardom was just truly beginning.

And he’s taken that uniform off now for the final time.

“This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family,” Wade wrote in a letter to Miami that was released to the Associated Press.

It ends a second consecutive summer of will-he-or-won’t-he talk and worry in Miami, which was able to keep him last summer after contentious negotiations led to a $20 million, one-year deal. The Heat spoke with him on Wednesday in New York in an effort to keep him, the same day that Wade also took meetings with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Denver Nuggets.

“Watching the Bulls growing up inspired me at an early age to pursue my dream of becoming a basketball player,” Wade wrote in the letter. “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.”

After 13 seasons and three NBA titles in Miami, Wade is returning home to Chicago. Take a look back at Wade’s top plays and greatest moments in a Heat uniform.

The forward later took to Twitter to thank Heat fans.

Wade was a human highlight reel at Marquette University. Take a look back at some of his best moments while playing at Marquette.

An Associated Press story was included in this report.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.