According to ESPN, Wade now joins a small ownership group that includes majority owner and team governor Ryan Smith, and his wife, Ashley; investor and Accel partner Ryan Sweeney; Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes; and the Miller family, as he plans to take on an active role in the franchise to help take it “to the next level.”
In an Instagram post, Wade helped break the news with a caption stating “Proud and excited to become a part of the @utahjazz family with Ryan Smith and the rest of the amazing ownership team.”
“As a businessman, entrepreneur, and investor, I bring a lot to this partnership outside of my basketball experience,” he adds. “I’m excited to help take the Utah Jazz to the next level.”
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From free-agent meetings to individual counsel and everything in between, Wade has expressed that he plans to be fully invested in building the franchise’s future. For him, this move is about growing his profile as an investor, a businessman and entrepreneur.
ESPN reports that Wade is among the latest of several Hall of Fame-level players to acquire NBA ownership stakes — including Grant Hill (Atlanta Hawks), Shaquille O’Neal (Sacramento Kings) and Charlotte Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan.
In an interview with the outlet, Wade shared his excitement about his latest business power move.
“This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA,” he said. “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.”
Not only is this a chance for Wade to make a difference for the franchise, it’s also a chance to open doors for Black men and women who wish to be in his same position one day.
“Unfortunately, people in my community don’t get this opportunity, and I do not take it lightly to have this opportunity,” Wade told ESPN. “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.”
He also told The Salt Lake Tribune, “I’m a living example that fairytales do come true. I’m excited about what this not only does for the NBA, but what it does for the little boys and girls out there that look like myself.”