Former NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade reportedly bought an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz on Friday. He joins majority owner Ryan Smith and intends to have an “active role” with the organization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wade, 39, becomes the latest former NBA player to take an ownership role within sports. A new outlook for the three-time NBA Champion who is now one of the youngest owners in league history.
“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.”
Wade sees his role as an opportunity to bring changes within one of the NBA’s most racially-divided fan bases.
“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 (Smith) 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.”
Prior to Wade’s newest business venture, his former teammate and current NBA superstar, LeBron James, bought a stake of the Boston Red Sox. The idea of Wade jumping into the avenue of sports ownership came with the $1.66 billion purchase of the Jazz back in December.
Smith and Wade have decided to build on their relationship that goes back to his days in the NBA.
The billionaire businessman from Provo, Utah has wanted to change the typical image of sports owners and emulate the “casual style” established by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Smith recently sat down with NFL quarterback and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady to discuss the business of sports. The two went into detail about athletes having a desire to become owners after their careers are over.
The NBA bylaws state that ownership stakes can be no less than 1% of the team. Wade’s financial investment in the Jazz was not disclosed by the league.