by Brandon Quinones
On Friday, April 16, 2021, news broke out that NBA superstar and future Hall of Fame player Dwyane Wade purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz. Daniel Olsen, the brave and fearless leader of The Hive sports, was one TNT analyst off on his April Fool’s Day article earlier this month. As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Wade plans to join Jazz’s majority owner and governor, Ryan Smith. As a minority owner, Wade plans to take an active role in the franchise and region.
He mentions this decision being something that goes way beyond dreaming of playing in the NBA. If this partnership is anything like his relationship with Ryan, there are plenty of things he wants to be involved in going forward. However, this move involves more than just basketball for Wade. He goes on to mention a bit about how much this means to him when he mentions how fortunate he is to be in this position.
“Unfortunately, people in my community don’t get this opportunity, and I do not take it lightly to have this opportunity,” Wade said. “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.”
Wade is widely regarded as one of the most well-respected, likable players in the NBA. He is also well-known across the world. Someone of Wade’s caliber brings plenty to the table for the Jazz. For one, he brings the ability to wow and inspire others because of what he was able to accomplish on the basketball court but his ability to inspire also extends far beyond that. To start, he was loved and respected across the league throughout his final season with the Miami Heat. He would autograph jerseys and take pictures with fans. He also made jersey swaps with other players at the end of games.
Wade had a way of awed fans with a special charisma, charm, swagger, and joy. He knew that he was special, but he always remained humble and made sure to give as much credit to those around him as he was receiving for himself. Heat fans know the way he can impact an entire fanbase, community, city, and state. He does so in a way not many are capable of doing. From being the fifth overall pick in 2003, to bringing the first ever NBA championship to Miami, to bringing home two more with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, to his farewell tour, he left us with countless memories to look back upon. He brought so many tears of joy because of all those incredible experiences. His greatest impact was in not only taking the Heat to the pinnacle of the basketball world, but for bringing so much joy and hope to the community.
His impact reached far beyond the court, as there. The whole world looks up to him. Because of him, some been inspired to do incredible things in life. He has also become an immense advocate in social change efforts as he looks to impact communities in a positive way. He will continue to inspire the masses to bring more joy, equality, and love into this world. When pairing this to the already incredible work Ryan Smith has done in giving back to the community (such as the four-year college scholarships he’s committing to an underserved student after every Jazz win), this is a partnership extending far beyond basketball it has the potential to bring positive change. This is the type of human being that Wade. The Jazz should be so excited to add him to their family.
For the Jazz, this move definitely has a basketball meaning behind it. From a business perspective, it is a decision that makes plenty of sense for both sides as well. Wade has become an excellent business mind with business ventures into wine connoisseurship, his own fashion brand, and his lifetime shoe deal with Chinese athletic apparel company Li-Ning.
He brings with him an incredible pedigree both on and off the court. This will help to grow the overall brand of the Utah Jazz going forward when seeing everything that Wade has been able to accomplish. It will remain to be seen at what capacity he will be operating within the organization, but there is little doubt that he is sure to have a positive impact on this organization. He will also continue to aid in the already successful culture that the Jazz have established.
In terms of basketball, Wade’s Hall of Fame and championship pedigree will shine throughout the organization. He will seek to help them reach that level of success in the future. Coming from the likes of the Heat and the success they have experienced as a franchise, he is likely to work to instill some aspects from his time in Miami. He will add to the strong foundation that the Jazz have already built. Adding Wade will bring a new level of credibility to the organization, and with it, a new level of respect across the basketball world. When adding someone of his caliber, people within the organization are going to be sure to listen to his wisdom and try to learn from his experiences as much as possible. That experience will be invaluable to Jazz players as they look to win the franchise’s first ever NBA championship.
In addition to his basketball knowledge and experience, simply having him in the organization will attract other players and staff to want to join the Jazz. This could be a huge boost for the Jazz considering that they have been regarded as a small market team. When pairing Wade with how successful the Jazz have been this season, other players and free agents will likely become much more interested in joining the Jazz. They will see what he brings to the table and how successful the Jazz had already been before his arrival. The Jazz already had an incredible foundation built. It is already bearing fruit with the Jazz holding the league’s best record. Adding Wade to the equation may be what helps push the Jazz over the top and reach the next level as a basketball team and organization.
Jazz fans should be extremely excited because of the fact that there is no better mentor for franchise player Donovan Mitchell. Ever since coming into the league, the most frequent comparison for Mitchell has been Wade. Wade was already a mentor to him and now the two get to become closer. They will likely spend more time together in the near future. Wade talks about his relationship with Mitchell, acknowledging the comparison and similar skill sets they share with Wade mentioning that he calls Mitchell his “2.0”, saying that if there’s a player similar to him, it’s Mitchell.
Regarding their relationship, Wade also had plenty to say.
“He’s on that short list of people who call me and talk for hours,” Wade sad. “We’ve got a big brother/little brother relationship.”
The Jazz should be excited to have Wade continue to work and mentor their star player in hopes that he can continue to grow and develop into one of the top players in the league. It will also be interesting to see what types of relationships Wade goes on to create with other Jazz players and coaches. All in all, the Jazz and their fans should be excited to add someone of Wade’s caliber to their organization. This is in hopes that he not only brings a positive impact to the team and organization, but to the entire state of Utah as well.
Featured image courtesy Michael Reaves/Getty Images