He is now prepared for his upcoming task: owning an NBA team.
Getty Images/Michael Reaves
Shortly after Wade retired, Smith and Wade reconnected on a golf course in California. The two were close friends very soon and were curious about one another’s lives. Wade, who is 39 years old, wanted to know more about Smith’s tech empire, and Smith, who is only three years Wade’s senior, believed the former star could aid with his big cultural influence in the sport and community as well as from a basketball viewpoint.
For each Jazz victory, Smith has given a four-year college scholarship to a deserving youngster. Along with Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, he has invested $4 million in Encircle Homes, which provides a safe haven for LGBTQ adolescents and their families. The team does not have any intentions of “running away from the racial, socioeconomic, and LGBTQ conversations,” according to Wade, whose daughter is a member of the LGBTQ community.
Wade also cited a strong bond with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, whom he calls “2.0,” as another citing factor. Wade appreciates the comparisons made to Mitchell because they have occurred frequently.
The former Heat guard, who spent 14 seasons in Miami, entertained offers from his old team. In the end, the Jazz’s chance for success prevailed.
Wade has stressed a desire to be hands-on with the team, including attending meetings with free agents and consulting on other basketball matters. His basketball knowledge will be helpful, as will his numerous solid relationships he has built up across the league.
The Jazz had the best record in the NBA and appeared to be headed in the right direction. With Wade in tow, they’ve got a laser focus on bringing home the first title in franchise history.
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