Dwyane Wade is doing it all. Three years removed from gracing NBA hardwoods as a player, Wade has successfully transitioned into a well-rounded, and seemingly well-fulfilled post-playing career. A second act that includes broadcasting work with Turner Sports, part ownership of the Utah Jazz, his very own wine, and now, venturing into the NFT space courtesy of Budweiser.
In the midst of being busy with his post-retirement endeavors, we caught up with Dwyane to chat about a variety of things, one of which included, his perspective on where he ranks all-time amongst NBA shooting guards.
“If I ever really cared about the praise of man, to get me through or make me feel good about my career, it never would’ve been what it was. History speaks for itself. I’m in history,” Wade says. “You can’t mention basketball without mentioning me, you can’t talk about being a champion without mentioning me. I did my part and I let my resume speak for itself.
In addition to that, Dwyane was candid about the Utah Jazz’s disappointing outcome in the playoffs; and what the franchise could do to fix things; as well as explaining why he’s been so intentional in his pursuits after basketball.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
I mentioned earlier about being intentional in your post-playing career with the moves you’re making; whether it’s your partnership with Budweiser, your work with TNT or even your own wine brand. Was there a particular point in your playing career where you mapped out the vision for when you retired?
I think that plan is ever-evolving. The first time the idea ever came to me [about post-playing career plans] was when I got my first major injury in the NBA. I dislocated my shoulder and tore my rotator cuff; and that’s the first time I realized ‘oh man, I may not come back to the same player that I was’.
So that was the moment I started to get my ducks in a row, when it came to matters off the court, if my career ends early. So I started having those thoughts at a young age. Along the way, myself and my team continue to challenge ourselves to do more and build more.
You’re also a part-owner of the Utah Jazz, it was a disappointing end to the season in a first-round playoff loss to the Dallas Mavericks. In your estimation, what do you feel like went wrong with this season?
I don’t want to say something went ‘wrong’. I think that teams with All-Stars and good players, everyone comes in with the idea that ‘they have to win a championship, they have to win a championship’; and that’s one of the most unrealistic goals: for everyone to win a championship.
It’s not everyone’s time, at all times.
This is a team that’s still trying to learn how to win together. Still trying to learn how to win in this league. It’s very hard to win in this league. It just doesn’t happen because you’re a great player, or a great young player, or having multiple players who are great. It’s nothing different than this team learning how to win.
When players or maybe the organization itself comes to you for advice, what is your approach?
My approach is my personal experience. Right now, that personal experience is coming strictly from a player’s standpoint, because that’s been most of my life. I can give you the locker room mindset without you being in the locker room. My job is to be authentic and real and bring a player’s perspective and knowledge.
Building on your playing career a bit, there was a conversation I noticed on Twitter about NBA shooting guards, and the legacy of it. As I was scrolling through the thread, I didn’t see your name often enough. I feel when it comes to the conversation about all-them great two guards, people tend to leave your name off those lists. Why do you think that is and do you care?
I don’t know, man. And I don’t personally care. I put my resume out there, and I let my resume speak for itself. I can’t add any more to my basketball resume.
I like to look at it like this: when it comes to the greats or the GOAT conversation, our minds are triggered to see just ‘one’ at these positions. We see one Michael Jordan, and that’s our GOAT because that’s the era we grew up in – but then you have Kobe Bryant at the same position that could very well be a GOAT in his own right, but he’s behind Michael Jordan in a lot of eyes – then you have the next guy, and the next guy, etc. It’s a long list of guys to talk about.
If I ever really cared about the praise of man, to get me through or make me feel good about my career, it never would’ve been what it was. History speaks for itself. I’m in history. You can’t mention basketball without mentioning me, you can’t talk about being a champion without mentioning me. I did my part and I let my resume speak for itself.
Since retiring, it’s evident that you had a strategic plan in mind when it came to endeavors and partnerships; one of your latest being with Budweiser. Can you talk to me about how that partnership developed?
A lot of it is who you associate yourself with and I’ve been able to associate myself with some great bands. We started BudZero in 2020, it was a tough time to start a brand in the middle of the pandemic; especially a non-alcoholic brew. It was something Budweiser was passionate about and it was something I was passionate about as well.
We jumped into this space and wanted to find our uniqueness with BudZero. Our uniqueness is Budverse, NFTs, and what we have in our arsenal – and that’s to be able to create experiences. This is something I’m super excited about, it has a charity component to it because we’re always trying to make sure we give back.
For more information about Dwyane’s venture with Budweiser and the Budverse Legends: Dwyane Wade x Budweiser Zero Edition collectible, you can visit here.