Wade, a Chicago-area native, had two meetings with the Bulls last week.
"It was very difficult [to say no to the Bulls]," Wade said during a live interview on ESPN. "There's a lot of speculation out there [that Wade wasn't serious about the Bulls], but it was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make as a professional player.
"Chicago, they have my heart. It has my emotions. I get tearing up a little right now just thinking about the opportunity I had. Of course, it came down to Chris and his decision to want to be here in Miami with me. I couldn't pass up on that decision. But, to all my fans in Chicago, that's my home. That's where my heart will always be. I discussed this with my family. At the end of the day, they're happy I'm back here in Miami. It's going to all work out. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that I'm in Chicago. But Chicago is my heart and it will always be."
One reason some thought Wade would end up in Chicago is because of ongoing legal procedures concerning the custody of his two sons. Wade's recently divorced, and his ex-wife lives in Illinois.
Wade said there was a moment when his thought process swung.
"It played on my emotions a lot," Wade said. "I am a family-oriented person, and everyone heard the stuff about my kids. Of course I want to be like every man in the world, you want to be the best dad possible, you want to have every moment with your kids.
"But I couldn't make this an emotional decision. I had to take myself out of it. That's why I left Chicago [after last week's visits], and I didn't come to Miami. I went somewhere else and thought about this for a while. I had to take my emotions out of this and make my best decision, and it became the best decision for me, especially when Chris said he wanted to come down to Miami. This is what we asked for. We asked for flexibility, and now we have that in Miami. We have flexibility in Miami to put players around us that's going to make us look even better. Now we can get on the pace to build a championship from this point on. "