New Face of Ownership

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Heat Legend Dwyane Wade Purchases Minority Stakes in Utah Jazz

Much like some of his NBA counterparts, Dwyane Wade has always had a savvy business mind.

On Friday, the former Miami Heat superstar opted to diversify his portfolio even further by buying minority stakes in the Utah Jazz. With the purchase, Wade becomes one of the several former NBA superstars with ownership stakes, including Shaquille O’Neal in the Sacramento Kings and of course Michael Jordan who is a majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Wade plans to help majority owner Ryan Smith largely with both franchise-related duties and within the Utah region.

“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.”

The 39-year old Wade hasn’t played in the NBA since 2019, but has continued to remain in the public eye, partially because of his involvement with NBA on TNT, but also because of the work he continues to do in fashion and in the business sphere. This latest business move seems to be yet another in a string of savvy decisions made by Wade following retirement.

“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.”

As Wade enters a new chapter of his life as a minority owner, it will be interesting to see not only the impact that he will have on the franchise but on the city of Utah. Through all of the social unrest that has plagued America, Wade remained vocal in the fight towards equality and social justice, and plans to continue on this path as an owner.

“We’re not running away from the racial and social and LGBTQ conversations,” Wade told ESPN. “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. I don’t look at this as only a Utah Jazz relationship. I look at this as a relationship that’s multifaceted — business, basketball, me being able to bring Ryan into my world just as he’s bringing me into his world.”

There is a new face of ownership in the NBA!

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