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Dwyane Wade buys ownership stake in Utah Jazz

NBA player Dwyane Wade on Friday joined the Utah Jazz ownership group, which is led by majority stakeholder Ryan Smith. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
NBA player Dwyane Wade on Friday joined the Utah Jazz ownership group, which is led by majority stakeholder Ryan Smith. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

April 16 (UPI) -- Dwyane Wade became the latest NBA legend to take an ownership role of an NBA franchise Friday, with a minority stake purchase in the Utah Jazz, the team announced.

"As a businessman, entrepreneur, and investor, I bring a lot to this partnership outside of my basketball experience," Wade said in a news release. "I'm excited to help take the Utah Jazz to the next level."

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Wade, 39, joined a group headed by Jazz majority owner Ryan Smith. Mike Cannon-Brookes and the Miller family are the other members of the franchise's ownership group.

Wade, who retired in 2019, spent more than a decade of his 16-year NBA career with the Miami Heat. He spent the 2016-17 season with the Chicago Bulls and part of the 2017-18 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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The 13-time All-Star won three NBA Finals titles and was an eight-time All-NBA selection. He currently works as an in-studio NBA analyst for TNT.

"Dwyane is not only a basketball legend, he is also a great leader, businessman, and human being," Smith said. "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.

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"Utah is an amazing place and I couldn't be more thrilled about the future of the franchise and the future of this state. Dwyane's influence will be important to both."

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Smith, the founder of Qualtrics software, acquired a majority interest in the Jazz for 1.66 billion in October. Franchise ownership stakes must be for at least 1% of the total value of the team, but Wade's investment in the Jazz was not

Wade made nearly $200 million in on-the-court salary during his decorated NBA career.

"It's tremendous today that we have someone like Dwyane Wade who's chosen to be a part of the Jazz organization," Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters Friday.

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Heat majority owner Micky Arison expressed disappointment Friday on Twitter that Wade did not reconsider an opportunity to join the Heat's ownership group.

"I want to congratulate Dwyane on his recent announcement," Arison tweeted. "We had discussed having him join our ownership group after his retirement, but he was not prepared to commit at the time. Of course I am disappointed that he didn't reconsider.

"Having said that, I wish him good luck and much success with the Jazz. To me Dwyane will always be a Heat lifer."

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Wade's former teammate Shaquille O'Neal, Michael Jordan and Grant Hill are among the other NBA legends that have ownership stakes in NBA franchises.

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