Dwyane Wade buys ownership stake in Utah Jazz

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Bijan Todd
·2 min read
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Dwyane Wade buys ownership stake in Utah Jazz originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Two years removed from his soon-to-be Hall-of-Fame career, Dwyane Wade has joined the exclusive group of former athletes who have become owners of professional teams. On Friday, the Utah Jazz announced that Wade has joined majority owner Ryan Smith with an ownership stake in the club.

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“Dwyane is not only a basketball legend, he is also a great leader, businessman, and human being,” Smith said via a Jazz press release. “As we continue to build on the incredible legacy of the Utah Jazz franchise, we are excited to add Dwyane’s experience and expertise to the equation.”

Smith purchased the Jazz just six months ago for $1.66 billion, joining the small ownership group of the team. Smith founded Qualtrics, an experience management company, in 2002 and is still an executive chairman of the corporation.

Wade, 39, will become a first-time owner of a professional sports team. Joining former superstars Michael Jordan (Hornets), Shaquille O’Neal (Kings), Eenee Montgomery (Dream - WNBA) and recently announced owner Alex Rodriguez (Timberwolves), Wade will become the latest athlete to transition from a spot in the locker room to a spot in board meetings.

According to the Jazz’s press release announcing the news, Wade and Smith have been acquaintances for some time and have “engaged in numerous conversations about working together in various business and investment capacities.” Smith and Wade spoke about Wade joining the ownership team shortly after Smith bought the group in October 2020.

Wade said that his partnership with Utah is a ‘perfect fit,’ given their similar values.

“Not only is this group focused on building a championship franchise, they are also committed to using their platform to do good and actively create a more inclusive, equitable world. We share a lot of the same goals and are trying to go the same places in life. As a businessman, entrepreneur, and investor, I bring a lot to this partnership outside of my basketball experience. I’m excited to help take the Utah Jazz to the next level,” Wade said.

Wade’s specific stake in the team has not yet been disclosed. Still, Wade would know about what it takes to be a part of a winning franchise. As a member of the Miami Heat for over 15 seasons, Wade won three NBA titles, one Finals MVP and was named an all-star 13 times. Utah is currently the best team in the NBA, sitting atop the Western Conference with a 41-14 record.