Dwyane Wade, three-time NBA champion and thirteen-time All-Star, has announced his latest off-court endeavor: joining the ownership group of the Women's National Basketball Association's (WNBA) Chicago Sky. The move marks a significant milestone in Wade's post-playing career, heralding a new era of influence and engagement with women's professional basketball.
Bringing his Champion Mindset to the Chicago Sky
Wade, due to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame next month, explained his decision in an interview with ESPN. He acknowledged that support can take different forms and felt his contribution could extend beyond simply promoting the WNBA on social media or attending games.
He wanted to go a step further. "We all talk about support, and support looks different for everyone," Wade stated. "And so instead of tweeting out and saying 'go support the W,' instead of showing up at the game and supporting, I wanted to take it to that next level, and this was the next level for me." This ownership position offers Wade a unique chance to impact the league in its nascent stages.
With a strong belief in the future growth of the league, he expressed his eagerness to be a part of that journey.
Emphasizing Player Power in the WNBA
Wade emphasized that, despite his high-profile presence, the league's success rests squarely on the players' shoulders.
He argued that stars like A'ja Wilson and Aliyah Boston, among others, are the driving force behind the WNBA. "No one is bigger than the players," Wade said. "No one wants to be bigger than them as an owner. And so we want to bring attention to the league that we can, but we also want to bring our resources to the league.
We want to bring what we've learned by playing in these leagues for a long time to the front offices, to the management teams and to everyone." Chicago Sky co-owner and operating chairman Nadia Rawlinson shared her excitement over Wade's entry into the Sky ownership group, praising him for his significant impact in both business and philanthropy. "He has made an impact now in business and philanthropy in really significant ways that are abiding and authentic and true, and that is who we are at the Chicago Sky," Rawlinson told ESPN.