Former Miami Heat guard and three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade has purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz, per a report from ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wade, who retired in 2019, becomes the latest of a number of former NBA superstars with an ownership stake in a team. He joins Grant Hill (Atlanta Hawks), Shaquille O’Neal (Sacramento Kings), and Michael Jordan, the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, in that regard.
Wade also joins majority owner and team governor Ryan Smith as part of the ownership core and has plans to take up an active role as it pertains to the governance of the Western Conference franchise.
The Heat icon met Smith on a golf course in California after he retired two years ago and they developed a quick friendship. Smith, viewed by Wade as a mentor, floated the idea of the erstwhile guard joining the ownership group after he bought the Jazz for $1.66 billion in October.
“This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA,” the 13-time NBA All-Star told ESPN. “I’ve seen Shaq do it in Sacramento. I’ve seen Grant Hill do it in Atlanta. I’ve seen Jordan do it in Charlotte. 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.
“… 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 did not offer comment on whether or not he had conversations over acquiring a stake in the Heat but insists the love and respect he has for the team he played for for 14 years and its fans remains unchanged.
“The respect I that I have for that [Heat] organization will not go anywhere, the love that I have for the [Heat] fans — that goes nowhere,” he noted. “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.”