Dwyane Wade Steps into the Owner's Circle

Hall of Fame player Dwyane Wade has purchased a minority ownership stake in the Utah Jazz and intends on taking an active role with the team. The Miami Heat's all-time leader in points, assists, steals, games and a variety of other categories, Wade had a storied NBA career - helping lead the Heat to 3 NBA Championships, as well as making 13 All-Star Games, 8 All-NBA Teams, 3 All-NBA Defensive Teams while leading the NBA in scoring in 2008-09 and winning the Finals MVP in 2005-06.  

Wade told ESPN the following:

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.

Jazz majority owners Ryan & Ashley Smith purchased the team from Gail Miller for $1.66B in October, 2020 with the goal of keeping the franchise in Salt Lake City. Smith, who grew up cheering for his hometown Jazz, is an entrepreneur and made his fortune creating Qualtrics - a company he sold for $8B to SAP in early 2019. Smith and Wade connected early in the former All-Star's retirement and Wade considers Smith to be a mentor, as he looks to transition into the next phase of his life.  

The two have connected on issues outside of basketball, as Smith has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as an advocate of LGBTQ. 

Wade mentioned the following about one of the facets of his roles as an owner:

We're not running away from the racial and social and LGBTQ conversations. I'm committed to doing the work. I talk about the LGBTQ community, which everyone knows is important to me. My daughter is part of that community.

These are exciting times for the NBA, Smith, Wade and the Jazz organization!

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports