South Florida Sun Sentinel |
Nov 12, 2021 at 11:56 AM
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SALT LAKE CITY — The assumption is that these consecutive Saturdays would have Dwyane Wade conflicted, considering his minority ownership stake in the Utah Jazz and his enduring connection to the Miami Heat.
That assumption would be wrong.
Wade wants both teams to win. And if that doesn’t make sense, he said he will leave that for others to sort out.
“I don’t have mixed emotions,” Wade told the South Florida Sun Sentinel ahead of the Heat’s game Saturday at Vivint Arena against the Jazz. “I love the Heat. I love Jimmy Butler. I love Bam [Adebayo]. I got to root for those guys no matter what. So it’s not mixed emotions.”
When Wade’s agreement with Jazz owner and Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith was announced in April, it drew second glance from many, especially in South Florida, where the guard stands as icon for helping lead the Heat to NBA championships in 2006, ‘12 and ‘13.
Wade said at the time of the agreement it was business, and this week said the same, noting he would not be in attendance Saturday due to business commitments, as was the case with last Saturday’s Heat victory over the Jazz at FTX Arena.
“There’s no animosity coming from my heart at all, because I know how to separate business from personal,” he said of taking his ownership talents to Salt Lake City. “And this was a great business opportunity for me that I’m glad I got an opportunity to have.”
Known for his passion for fashion, Wade said it merely is a matter of adding additional hues to his wardrobe.
“So is it different wearing purple and all the other colors? Yes,” the Heat’s all-time leading scorer said with a laugh. “I’m used to black and red my whole life. So there’s some things that you’ve got to get used to.”
Wade, 39, said the Jazz ownership stake is part of his professional growth.
With the Jazz purchased last year for $1.66 billion, and with NBA bylaws requiring ownership stakes to be at least one percent, it would put Wade’s investment at $16.6 million at minimum.
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“With the Jazz, it’s just a new stage, a new step in my life when it comes to sport, when it comes to basketball,” he said.
“When it comes to the playing of a team, that is business,” he said, two years removed from his final NBA game with the Heat. “That’s not personal.”
So he’s a big fan of the Heat, and a big fan of the Jazz, letting the scoreboard and the standings take care of the rest.
“Miami, from a personal standpoint, I would love to see them win it all,” he said. “But I also would love to see us win it all. So, for me, it’s a win-win.
“When you have friends out there, when you have an organization that I will forever be linked to, that is doing great, and it has a potential to be great — and we’re good, as well — to me, is great.”