The Miami Heat are targeting the Feb. 22 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at AmericanAirlines Arena for the retirement of Dwyane Wade’s iconic No. 3 jersey, a source familiar with the planning confirmed to the Sun Sentinel.
However, unlike the Heat’s previous jersey retirements, the team is preparing for a more reserved ceremony at that game, with plans for a celebration of Wade at AmericanAirlines Arena the night before, when the Heat are idle on Feb. 21, after returning from a Feb. 20 game in Atlanta.
Wade’s No. 3 will become the fifth Heat player jersey retired, joining the No. 33 of Alonzo Mourning, No. 10 of Tim Hardaway, No. 32 of Shaquille O’Neal and No. 1 of Chris Bosh.
Wade retired at the end of the last season as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, part of all three of the team’s NBA championships, in 2006, ’12 and ’13.
Wade will become the second member of the franchise’s Big Three to have his jersey raised to the rafters, with LeBron James’ No. 6 eventually expected to be raised. Wade, James and Bosh helped lift the Heat to four consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014.
A Feb. 22 timing of a Wade jersey ceremony would come in the middle of a set of home games for James’ Los Angeles Lakers, including an afternoon game on Feb. 23 at Staples Center.
Ticket prices already had been elevated for the Feb. 22 game, amid speculation of that being the date targeted for Wade’s moment. In the wake of the Sun Sentinel’s report, TickPick reported Friday that the get-in price for the game had increased from a minimum of $95 to $171, highest of the remaining games on the Heat’s home schedule. By midday Friday, the average ticket price for that game had reached $183.60, according to TickPick, with pricing at $1,356 for tickets directly behind the Heat bench.
The Heat’s first jersey retirement came on April 11, 2003, when the Heat retired No. 23 in honor of Michael Jordan’s contributions to the NBA, with that jersey since moved to a separate spot in the AmericanAirlines Arena rafters.
No. 33 was retired on March 30, 2009 in honor of Mourning, No. 10 on Oct. 28, 2009 in honor of Hardaway, No. 32 on Dec. 22, 2016 in honor of O’Neal and No. 1 on March 26, 2019 in honor of Bosh. The Heat have not issued James’ No. 6 since he left the team to return to the Cavaliers in 2014 free agency.
In addition to Wade, No. 3 has been worn with the Heat by Anthony Taylor, Scott Haffner, Steve Smith, Khalid Reeves, Bruce Bowen, Jamie Watson and LaPhonso Ellis.
Wade also wore No. 3 when he played in 2016-17 with the Chicago Bulls and No. 9 when he played with the Cavaliers for the first half 2017-18, before he returned to the Heat for the final 1 1/2 seasons of his career.
Wade only wore No. 3 during his dual Heat tenures, the first one running from his No. 5 selection in the 2003 NBA draft to his 2016 free-agency departure to his hometown Bulls.
Wade’s No. 3 Marquette jersey was retired by the school in 2006 and then raised to the rafters last January at the school’s new home, Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.