RECREATION

Three-time NBA champ Dwyane Wade new part-owner of the Utah Jazz

Apr 16, 2021, 5:40 PM | Updated: 6:16 pm
(Utah Jazz majority owner Ryan Smith, left, and Dwyane Wade watch the Jazz play on April 16, 2021. ...
(Utah Jazz majority owner Ryan Smith, left, and Dwyane Wade watch the Jazz play on April 16, 2021. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Utah Jazz majority owner Ryan Smith, left, and Dwyane Wade watch the Jazz play on April 16, 2021. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Three-time NBA champ Dwyane Wade announces he is part owner of the Utah Jazz, saying the partnership between him and majority owner Ryan Smith goes beyond his wildest dreams.

Friday morning, the Utah Jazz made the official announcement that Wade was joining the ownership group with Smith saying Wade was not only a basketball legend, but a great leader, businessman and human being. 

“Utah is an amazing place and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the future of the franchise and the future of this state. Dwyane’s influence will be important to both,” Smith said in a statement.

The two men have known each other for several years, and have spoken about working together in other business ventures.  Wade says he always wanted to focus on business while he was a player, and he looked for advice from sources he could trust.

“When you’re able to meet someone like Ryan that has been very successful in business that could educate you and that can teach you… I’m all about mentors, and Ryan became a mentor to me,” Wade says.  “Did I ever think this would be a part of our conversations?  No, I did not.”

Wade calls the partnership a perfect fit since he and Smith share a similar vision for the team and they’re both committed to building an “inclusive, equitable world.”

“This was always a goal of mine to one day, hopefully, be a part of something bigger than I.  That’s what the Utah Jazz is, it’s something bigger than myself,” he says.

Head Coach Quin Snyder says this is an exciting move.  During a press conference before their game against the Indiana Pacers, Snyder joked that his relationship with Wade wasn’t always good.  In 2002, Wade was part of the Marquette team that knocked his Missouri Tigers out of the NCAA tournament.”

He says, “I’ve gotten over that, at this point.  He has probably forgotten about it after three rings.”

Snyder believes Wade’s experience as a former player will be extremely helpful to the current roster.

“Players are in such a unique experience.  There really aren’t a lot of people in their peer groups that they can turn to and that can understand some of the things they’re going through,” Snyder says.

However, Snyder believes his commitment to building better communities will be a long-term benefit for Salt Lake City, and he’s pleased Wade is taking a “hands on” role.

“I think that’s part of the reason that Dwyane looked at this opportunity as one where he can be impactful on multiple levels,” he says.

 

 

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Three-time NBA champ Dwyane Wade new part-owner of the Utah Jazz