NBA legend and future Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade has decided to follow the footsteps of his idol Michael Jordan and best friend LeBron James by making moves off the court and taking ownership of a sports team. Wade has purchased an ownership stake of the Utah Jazz, as he has joined the new majority owner and team governor Ryan Smith.
Smith told Jazz fans good things were coming when he got his new role, and adding a motivated Wade to the group is a big move. Wade and Smith became friends in 2019, as that relationship proved to be vital in getting Dwyane on board. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Wade's statement:
"This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA. 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."
Dwyane Wade, via ESPN
This news came out of nowhere and unexpected, as nobody knew Wade had an ownership interest, especially with a team like the Utah Jazz he has no connection with. To be fair, Wade has been praising the Jazz consistently trough the season while working as an analyst on NBA on TNT.
His great relationship with the majority owner Smith has woken up enthusiasm in Wade, as he is looking to have an active role with the team and community in order to help the franchise move on up in the NBA world. Considering they are currently the best team in the NBA, Wade has a pretty good starting block.
Still, many fans are wondering why Wade didn't join his Miami Heat, as their majority owner and governor Micky Arison congratulated Wade with a bitter taste:
"I want to congratulate Dwyane on his recent announcement.We had discussed having him join our ownership group after his retirement but he was not prepared to commit at the time. Of course I am disappointed that he didn't reconsider."
Micky Arison, via Twitter
It looks like the relationship with Ryan Smith proved to be a tipping point in favor of the Jazz, even though Wade said he never really had any ownership discussions with the Heat. No matter the situation, Wade will always be remembered as a Heat legend beloved in the city of Miami, but his next basketball step and focus with be with the Utah Jazz, as he is looking to grow in a new role.