Dwyane Wade has purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz and plans to take an active role in the franchise and region.
Wade is the latest of several Hall of Fame-level players with NBA ownership stakes, including Grant Hill (Atlanta Hawks), Shaquille O'Neal (Sacramento Kings) and Charlotte Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan. Magic Johnson previously had a 4% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers.
"This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA," Wade told ESPN. "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. ...
"Unfortunately, people in my community don't get this opportunity, and I do not take it lightly to have this opportunity. 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 met Smith at a golf course in 2019 and they soon became friends.
The NBA has a bylaw that ownership stakes can be no less than 1% of the team, but Wade's financial investment in the franchise is not immediately clear.
Micky Arison on Twitter expressed disappointment that Wade didn't reconsider a stake in the Miami franchise after previous negotiations.