Dwyane Wade talks about the “opportunity” to buy ownership stake in Utah Jazz and said it goes “way beyond” his dream of playing basketball professionally.
“This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA,” Wade told ESPN in a piece published Friday.
Three-time NBA champion @DwyaneWade has purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz, joining majority owner and governor @RyanQualtrics with plans to take an active role in the franchise and region. Story on ESPN: https://t.co/ZxtZe8uLey
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 16, 2021
“I’ve seen Shaq [ Shaquille O’Neal] do it in Sacramento,” he added. “I’ve seen Grant Hill do it in Atlanta. I’ve seen [Michael] Jordan do it in Charlotte. If this partnership is going to be anything like my relationship is with Ryan [Smith], there are going to be a lot of things that I’ll want to be involved in.” (RELATED: Dwyane Wade Lost So Much Money Gambling His Financial Advisor Thought He Had A Problem)
“Unfortunately, people in my community don’t get this opportunity, and I do not take it lightly to have this opportunity,” Wade continued. “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.” (RELATED: Dwyane Wade Gives Graduation Speech At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School)
The three-time NBA champion became friends with the majority owner and team governor Smith shortly after his retirement from basketball in 2019.
It was Smith who brought the idea to Wade to join the ownership group after Ryan had purchased the Jazz team for $1.66 billion in October.
“Dwyane has had a chance to be part of so many different [ownership] groups if he wanted that,” Smith told the sports outlet. “We’ve basically been in discussion from the time we closed on the team on how we can get this done. Like I run my tech business, you want the brightest people around.
“There is a broad picture here,” he added. “It’s much more than just basketball. This league is the biggest platform that there is, and we ran toward that. This isn’t a league where we came in saying, ‘Hey, this has gone somewhere we’re not comfortable with.’ This is actually what we signed up for. We’re the newest ownership group. We’re the youngest. Dwyane’s a perfect fit.”
Dwyane said this relationship with the Jazz is multifaceted, “business, basketball” and him “being able to bring Ryan into” his world just as Smith’s bringing him “into his world.”