By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade has ventured into a new basketball opportunity. He is now part owner of the Utah Jazz.
The plan is for Wade to have an active role with the team. He’s also planning to be involved in the Salt Lake City community.
Wade is the latest player to have an ownership stake in an NBA team. Grant Hill has an ownership stake with the Atlanta Hawks.
Shaquille O’Neal is a part of the Sacramento Kings ownership team. Magic Johnson previously owned a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers.
Michael Jordan is also the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
“This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA,” Wade 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.”
Smith became the owner of the Jazz in October 2020 following a $1.66 billion purchase. It’s not clear how much Wade paid for an investment in the team.
“Dwyane has had a chance to be part of so many different [ownership] groups if he wanted that,” Smith told ESPN. “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. 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. It wasn’t like we wanted more partners; that wasn’t what we were trying to do. I want to work with Dwyane on and off the court, on the business side, and so do our partners — because of who he is as a human being and what he’s accomplished. Those are the kinds of people you want around.”
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