Zaire Wade has got something to say to everyone crying nepotism or making Austin Rivers-themed jokes.
Wade, the 19-year-old son of retired NBA legend Dwyane Wade, took an opportunity this week to respond to his critics after he was drafted by the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars on Oct. 23.
“I think I just want people to know — first of all, I’m extremely blessed to have this opportunity from the Stars to even want to take interest in me,” said Wade, per Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. “I know I’m a young guy to develop. But I think a lot of people think that I’m not a hard-working kid and things get handed to me. If you don’t know me, you can’t say that.
“Nothing’s handed to me,” Wade continued. “Coach said he noticed after the first day I stepped here, I’m just working hard trying to earn everything myself. I’m trying to make a name for myself. So I think that’s what people should know.”
The Stars are the G League affiliate of the Utah Jazz, the team that Wade’s famous father is a part-owner of. Their selection of Wade thus opened up an avalanche of criticism, so much so that LeBron James had something to say to the haters.
It’s true Wade was just a three-star recruit in high school. But considering that Shamorie Ponds went No. 1 overall and a 31-year-old Lance Stephenson went in the top 13, getting drafted into the G League is hardly a golden ticket to the NBA. Wade won’t sniff the league if he doesn’t deserve to be there, and all he wants is a chance to prove what he can do on his own merits.
Photo: Dec 7, 2019; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Sierra Canyon School guard Zaire Wade during the 2019 Hoophall West basketball tournament at Chaparral High School. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are family, having won two NBA titles in addition to posing on a banana boat together. Now James is going after the trolls targeting Wade’s son Zaire.
The Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s G League affiliate, selected the 19-year-old Zaire in the G League draft this weekend. While the pick made for a cool moment, many trolls clowned the move because Zaire was only a three-star prospect and because his father is a part-owner of the Jazz.
James responded to the haters via his Instagram Story on Saturday.
“Proud of you nephew,” wrote James of Zaire. “Keep going and F the haters. They ain’t [poop emoji] anyway.”
“Love to see it,” James wrote in a subsequent post. “Proud of my nephew journey because he traveled it his way. Happy as hell for my brother DWade cause I know how much he want to see it happen 4 him on his own terms! Black excellence you haters!!”
Zaire will play this season for the Stars in the hopes of improving his game as well as his NBA draft stock for 2022.
Of course, it is not surprising to see James come out in Zaire’s defense. Zaire and James’ son Bronny are close friends and even teamed up in high school.
Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Gabrielle Union may have been a Clover in “Bring It On,” but she is no fan of the Boston Celtics.
Union, actress and wife of ex-Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, dissed the Celtics this week in an interview on “The Old Man and The Three” podcast. Union spoke on the Heat’s “Big Three” era of Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh and said that it was really Boston who started the whole “superteam” movement in the modern NBA.
“I was here for all of that s—,” Union said. “But I was also here for when KG [Kevin Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] and [Rajon] Rondo and Ray [Allen] all came together, even though they don’t want to admit it that they kicked that b—- off. There’s been superteams before. They just didn’t, it wasn’t in this era with this platform and with social media and sports talk radio 24/7.”
“It’s different, and how you look at it is different,” added Union. “And the whole, ‘Built, not bought,’ whatever. Boring is what it says to me. Okay, you built it. Did anyone come? No, your fans are leaving at f—— halftime. Cheerleaders can’t be bothered.”
Union has a good point in that the “Big Three” phrase was first coined in reference to Garnett, Pierce, and Allen, not James, Wade, and Bosh. The Heat’s “Big Three” assembled in response to the dominance in the Eastern Conference of the Celtics, who had already made two NBA Finals and won a championship in the prior three seasons.
While she may be biased as Wade’s wife, Union certainly knows her ball. This is not the first time she has given outspoken opinions on the game.
H/T Heat Nation
Photo: Feb 22, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat former player Dwyane Wade reacts during the second quarter at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Carmelo Anthony has always been considered a member of the “Banana Boat Boys,” but there’s one problem — he wasn’t actually on the banana boat. That has left us with some questions, and Carmelo was kind enough to answer them this week.
The “Banana Boy Boys” were born when best friends LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade all rode on an inflatable banana boat together in the Bahamas back in 2015. The three NBA stars lined up one right after the other with Wade’s wife Gabrielle Union at the front of the boat. Anthony was also on that trip, so why didn’t he saddle up?
Anthony was very candid about the banana boat during an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. He was asked if not being invited on it was the worst moment of his career, but Carmelo says he was invited. He declined. Be aware that the video contains some inappropriate language.
“I didn’t get left out. They were already down there (in the Bahamas) and I was meeting them,” Anthony explained. “I had just flown in and we were, like, taxiing to the boat. They were already in the water doing water sports. I see them on the banana boat and I’m just like, ‘What is this?’ And they’re like, ‘Come on!’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not getting on that s—.'”
Anthony said he would have had no interest in riding on the banana boat even if he arrived in the Bahamas earlier. He does, however, consider himself a part of the “Banana Boat family.”
The “Banana Boat Boys” became so popular that other teams were still recreating it years later. Now that Carmelo and LeBron are finally teammates in L.A., Anthony had better embrace it more than ever.
Dwyane Wade may be trying to build the Miami Jazz in Utah.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported on Friday that former Miami Heat forward Shane Battier has been widely linked to the Utah Jazz as a potential candidate to join their front office. Fischer notes that the Heat great Wade, now Utah’s minority owner, is involved in the Jazz’s decision-making.
Wade and Battier were teammates in Miami for three seasons from 2012 to 2014. They made the NBA Finals in each of those years, taking home two championships. Battier has since been working in the Heat front office. He was hired in 2017 as their director of basketball development and analytics but left that position earlier this summer. Battier remains a Heat consultant for the time being.
Like Jazz coach Quin Snyder, Battier is also an alumni of Duke University. As for Wade, we know Heat personnel were disappointed that he became a part-owner of the Jazz rather than of their team. Hiring away Battier from their front office would probably sting even more.
Dwyane Wade is only in his first few months as a minority owner of the Utah Jazz, but he may already see a major problem looming for the team.
Speaking this week on “The Hoop Collective,” Brian Windhorst of ESPN indicated that Wade could be concerned about Utah’s ability to keep franchise player Donovan Mitchell around for the long-term.
“I think Dwyane Wade is seriously concerned about Donovan Mitchell’s desire to stay there long-term,” Windhorst said.
Windhorst also noted the tumult within the Jazz organization, including the “poor relationship” between head coach Quin Snyder and executive Dennis Lindsey. This week saw Lindsey transition into a lesser role for the team.
The two-time All-Star Mitchell just wrapped up his fourth season in Utah. He recently signed a five-year, $163 million extension with the Jazz, which kicks in starting next season.
We also recently saw some Mitchell-related tensions arise within the Jazz over the team’s handling of his ankle injury this postseason. The retired three-time NBA champion Wade is famously close with Mitchell, who has often drawn player comparisons to him. If Wade is worried about Utah’s ability to keep Mitchell, that could be a very ominous sign for the team.
Dwyane Wade had no association with the Utah Jazz prior to his purchase of an ownership stake in the team. That confused some Miami Heat fans, who wondered why Wade didn’t try to do something with the organization he spent nearly his entire career with.
Wade explained that his decision to purchase a stake in the Jazz was purely business, and it had nothing to do with his feelings about the Heat and their fans.
“It just was the right fit,” Wade said of his role with Utah, via Tyler R. Tynes of GQ. “I live in LA, man. Utah is an hour and 15 minute flight right over the mountains. Everything was right for this phase in my life. For this part in my life [ownership with the Miami Heat] wasn’t the step I wanted to take.”
Wade clarified that it had nothing to do with how he felt about Miami.
“One thing I did for Miami in my 14-and-a-half-year career is give them all I had,” Wade said. “They continue to embrace me and my family even though we are not living in that zip code. The love is always there for me, and I think it’s always gonna be there from the fans. We experienced something real together and it’s gonna last all of us a lifetime. I get it, man. But I’m not just one person to stay in one place. I’m a butterfly, man. And I gotta fly. I gotta move. I gotta go. So, this is just the next step in my journey. But, all love to Miami. All love.”
Heat owner Micky Arison made no secret of his disappointment that Wade chose to go into ownership with another franchise. Wade had a preexisting relationship with Jazz owner Ryan Smith, and the location seems to have been a big deal too. In the end, Wade clearly wants to make sure everyone in Miami knows it’s business, not personal.
It has been more than a decade now since an alley-oop from Dwyane Wade to LeBron James turned into one of the most iconic sports photos of all time, and Wade and his son decided to recreate the moment while messing around in the gym.
Wade’s son Zaire shared a video on Instagram Sunday that showed him throwing down an alley-oop from his dad. As Zaire rocked the rim, Dwyane put his arms out to the side and pretended to face the crowd the same way he did when he and LeBron were playing for the Miami Heat.
Here’s what they were going for:
The famous alley-oop between Wade and LeBron came in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 6, 2010. It became a symbol of their dominance together in Miami.
Alley-oops obviously run in the family for both Wade and James. Zaire plays for Sierra Canyon high school with LeBron’s son Bronny, and the two have been known to practice alley-oops together.
Dwyane Wade announced this week that he has purchased a stake in the Utah Jazz, but the former NBA star is not giving up his career in television.
Wade will remain in his role as an analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. The three-time champion will be subject to the same rules and regulations as his colleagues, Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill, who also own stakes in NBA teams. Shaq is a minority owner with the Sacramento Kings and Hill is part of the Atlanta Hawks’ ownership group.
As long as he remains in TV, Wade will not be able to take part in basketball operations with the Jazz, including the recruitment of free agents.
Wade said he wants to take a hands-on role with the Jazz, so it will be interesting to see how he balances that with his TV responsibilities.
Dwyane Wade announced on Friday that he has purchased a stake in an NBA team, but that team was not the one with which he won three championships. Miami Heat owner Micky Arison admits he is not thrilled about that.
After Wade shared his big news, Arison took to Twitter to both congratulate the Heat legend and address the question many have asked — why didn’t Wade buy a stake in his former team? Arison said the Heat spoke with Wade about joining their ownership group when the 13-time All-Star retired in 2019, but Wade was not ready to commit at that time.
“I want to congratulate Dwyane on his recent announcement,” Arison wrote. “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.”
Wade also addressed the Heat questions.
“The respect I that I have for that organization will not go anywhere, the love that I have for the [Heat] fans — that goes nowhere,” he told ESPN. “But this is about the next phase of my life as an investor, a businessman, an entrepreneur. For me, this is an opportunity to grow.”
The biggest factor in Wade’s decision to buy into the Jazz was his relationship with majority owner Ryan Smith. The two developed a close relationship after Wade retired, and Wade said that is what made him want to be involved in Utah.
Of course, there were also some issues between Wade and Miami’s brass when he left the team in 2016, but Wade later returned and finished his career with the Heat. It’s unlikely that any of that tension contributed to his decision. He simply views the situation in Utah as a better one for him.