SALT LAKE CITY – Dwyane Wade is an NBA owner.
The Utah Jazz announced on Friday that the 13-time NBA all-star will join the youngest group of owners in the league.
The group is led by tech entrepreneur Ryan Smith, who, along with his wife, Ashley, acquired a controlling stake in Jazz at the end of 2020.
Wade and Smith have known each other for several years and have discussed working together in various capacities.
“Dwyane is not only a basketball legend, he is also a great leader, businessman and human being,” Smith said in a statement. “As we continue to build on the incredible legacy of the Utah Jazz franchise, we are excited to add Dwyane’s experience and expertise to the equation. Utah is an amazing place and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of the franchise and the future of this state. Dwyane’s influence will be important to both.
Wade played 16 NBA seasons with Miami, Chicago and Cleveland before retiring after the 2018-19 season. He won three NBA titles and saw his No.3 jersey withdrawn by the Heat last month.
“The partnership with Ryan and the Utah Jazz is the perfect solution because we share the same vision and the same values,” said Wade. “Not only is this group focused on building a championship franchise, they are also committed to using their platform to do good and actively create a more inclusive and fair world. We share a lot of the same goals and try to go to the same places in life. “
Wade has spoken of owning the NBA in the later seasons of his career and said in 2019 that he wanted to discuss the potential of joining the Heat leadership group. The parties chatted later that year, without a deal, and it is unclear whether conversations resumed.
“I want to congratulate Dwyane on his recent announcement,” Heat managing general partner Micky Arison said on Friday. “We had discussed having him join our property group after he retired, but he was not ready to commit at the time. Of course, I’m disappointed he didn’t reconsider.
“Having said that, I wish him good luck and a lot of success with Jazz. For me, Dwyane will always be a heat driver.
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