Thursday's return a chance for Dwyane Wade, Pat Riley to speak for first time since playoffs

Due Baci's zuppa di pesce is a standout dish.
Due Baci's zuppa di pesce is a standout dish.

He’s hit Hassan Whiteside up on Snapchat, exchanged text messages with coach Erik Spoelstra and point guard Goran Dragic, and still talks to Udonis Haslem every day in some form or another.

Even though Dwyane Wade chose to leave the Miami Heat this summer in free agency to return home and play for the Chicago Bulls, he’s kept a close eye on his former team, watching every game he can while maintaining positive relationships with nearly everyone in the franchise.

Well, everyone except Pat Riley.

Wade acknowledged Wednesday the two biggest faces in franchise history still have not spoken to each other since the Heat was eliminated by the Raptors in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals back in May. And Wade’s not sure the silence will end even after he makes an emotional return to AmericanAirlines Arena Thursday night.

“I think I’ve been very open and honest about my respect and love for Pat,” Wade said Wednesday morning in Atlanta, several hours before the Bulls were set to take on the Hawks. “But I’ve also been honest that I haven’t spoken to him since the season ended.”

“I’ve communicated with everyone else,” Wade continued. “I know who Pat is. It’s no secret to me. I was there 13 years. I seen a lot of players come and go. I know how he is. If you’re not with him, you’re against him. That’s just the way he is.

“You gotta understand that, man. I’m cool with it. I’m fine. 100 percent.”