Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 10/9/12
MIAMI (AP) -- Two-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade is signing with Chinese sportswear provider Li-Ning, which is giving the Miami Heat guard his own brand within the company along with plenty of creative and strategic input. The partnership will be announced Wednesday in Beijing, where Li-Ning is headquartered and where the Heat are visiting for the NBA China Games tour. Wade told The Associated Press that he expects the Li-Ning deal to continue through at least the remainder of his playing career. Wade wore Converse for his first six seasons, then Jordan Brand for the past three years. "It was a great nine years, but for me, it was just time to move on," Wade told the AP. "I have certain goals that I want to reach and I felt that I had to leave to reach those. So I'm doing things a little differently. That's how I am, in a sense. I'm not necessarily a status-quo type guy." Wade's debut in Li-Ning sneakers is expected Thursday, when the Heat play a preseason game in Beijing against the Los Angeles Clippers. He's also hoping to play when the Heat and Clippers meet again in Shanghai on Sunday, and Li-Ning plans to auction off the sneakers from those first two games. However, what he's wearing this week is not a true unveiling of his brand -- to be called Wade. "What you see in China will not be the final product," Wade said. Wade's line of apparel and footwear is to be available at Li-Ning retail stores and online in China "soon," with a U.S. retail debut expected in 2013. His shoes are expected to sell for about 120. Wade has worn sneakers with no obvious brand markings in practices in recent days, but has tweeted several references to "1010" -- the date when the deal will be announced -- and posed recently on a court emblazoned with the phrase "Make The Change," a Li-Ning slogan. "I picked the best situation for me," Wade said. Wade becomes the biggest NBA name to endorse the Li-Ning brand since his former Miami teammate Shaquille O'Neal. Wade said he has gotten to know Li Ning, the brand's namesake, after first seeing the Chinese gymnastics hero -- a winner of six medals, three gold, at the Los Angeles Olympics -- when he lighted the cauldron at the 2008 Beijing Games. Wade helped the U.S. win basketball gold at those Olympics. "I had to get to know him and have him get to know me," Wade said. Li-Ning is still trying to gain recognition in the U.S. It has around 8,000 retail outlets in China. "In the U.S., the China brand is not the cool factor," Wade said. "A lot of work has gone into this and a lot of work is going to continue to go into it. For me, it's a challenge. As an athlete, you look forward to that." Wade is the second Heat player to endorse a Chinese shoe label. Heat forward Shane Battier has worn Peak sneakers since 2006. "My biggest concern was the language barrier," Battier said. " But all in all, it's been a great experience. It's been fun." Wade's deal with Jordan Brand expired Sept. 30. He will have say in virtually everything about his brand, from design to endorsers. He's hopeful that he'll be able to wear something close to a final product by Oct. 30, when the Heat open the regular season against Boston. "I'm not rushing," Wade said. "To me, I want to make sure it's a good product and when people see me, they need to know I'm comfortable with it. I want to make sure people understand that this is a big deal, not only for China, but for me."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker