Dwyane Wade is the latest former professional athlete to purchase a stake in an NBA team, and he is planning to treat it like more than just a passive investment.
Wade told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday that he has purchased a stake in the Utah Jazz, joining majority owner Ryan Smith. Wade said he has been inspired by other former NBA players who have joined ownership groups such as Michael Jordan with the Charlotte Hornets, Shaquille O’Neal with the Sacramento Kings and Grant Hill with the Atlanta Hawks.
“If this partnership is going to be anything like my relationship is with Ryan, there are going to be a lot of things that I’ll want to be involved in,” Wade said.
“… Unfortunately, people in my community don’t get this opportunity, and I do not take it lightly to have this opportunity. To make real change, this is where you have to be — at the top — and Ryan knows that. I’m thankful for him, and I know too that I bring a lot to this partnership outside of just my basketball knowledge and skills.”
Wade said he considers Smith a “mentor” and became friends with him shortly after the Miami Heat legend retired in 2019. Smith purchased the Jazz for $1.66 billion in October and proposed the idea of Wade joining the ownership group. It’s unclear what size stake Wade has, although the NBA has a bylaw stating ownership stakes can be no less than 1 percent.
Many will wonder why Wade didn’t try to join the Heat’s ownership group, as he spent the majority of his career there and won three NBA titles in Miami. Wade addressed that.
“The respect I that I have for that organization will not go anywhere, the love that I have for the [Heat] fans — that goes nowhere,” Wade said. “But this is about the next phase of my life as an investor, a businessman, an entrepreneur. For me, this is an opportunity to grow.”
Wade’s announcement comes just days after MLB legend Alex Rodriguez reportedly bought a stake in the Minnesota Timberwolves. One T-Wolves rookie hilariously had no idea who A-Rod was (video here), but we don’t think Wade will have that issue in Utah.