Seattle may have a powerful ally in its quest to rejoin the NBA. Dwyane Wade tells Joel Weber of Bloomsburg BusinessWeek that he would like to become an owner when his playing days are finished and is particularly interested in the Pacific Northwest.
“I definitely want to be a part of ownership in the NBA,” Wade said. “I’m not going to try to buy a team. I don’t have that kind of bread, but I definitely want to be a part of a great ownership group. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is all about players being involved in an ownership capacity. You’ve got players like Grant Hill involved in the Atlanta Hawks. Shaquille O’Neal is involved in the Sacramento Kings. It’s definitely something that I’ve talked about, some of my friends have talked about. But, first of all, I’d have to be retired.”
When asked which team he would like to own, the SuperSonics quickly came to mind.
“I want Seattle’s team, the Sonics, to come back,” Wade said. “I think Seattle is a great basketball town. I would love to be a part of that.”
Seattle has been without a franchise since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City a decade ago. In speculation about potential expansion sites, Seattle frequently appears at the top, but the NBA doesn’t have plans to add any teams in the foreseeable future. However, the league has scheduled a preseason game at Key Arena in October as a potential test to see how the market responds.
Wade touches on a few other issues in the interview, including:
Do teams need dynasty-level talent to win an NBA championship?
“Right now you do. I raise my hand as a part of the problem. When the Miami Heat decided to bring the big three together—myself, LeBron James, Chris Bosh—in 2009, the game changed. Players understand their power. I don’t see that slowing down. I see the next generation—my son’s generation—getting even tighter.”
Do players talk about joining forces to beat the Warriors?
“Nobody’s calling me at 36, like, ‘Yo, we need you to come lay down this dynasty.’ But obviously you want to take down the champs, right? People who watch the sport can’t wait to see what’s going to happen this summer in free agency, because you want to see a team put together that can compete against a team like that. I’m watching. I’m a fan. I want to see a big splash this summer. I would love to see some guys team up. Our game has grown. When people say Golden State is hurting our game, that’s untrue. Our game is so high right now. It’s so great, but we would like to see somebody else get an opportunity.”
Which is the best team he ever faced?
“The greatest team I’ve ever played against was probably the San Antonio Spurs, with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. They challenged you in so many ways with the mental part of the game. It goes way beyond basketball. Golden State does that. They challenge you mentally as well as physically. And they have more talent than everybody, as well. It’s going to take some special kind of medicine to put a team together to get them.”
How has the game changed over Wade’s 15-year career?
“David Stern, our last commissioner, did an amazing job of helping us grow our game, saying ‘OK, we need a face-lift, and let’s do this differently.’ He made our game global to where, in China and other countries, it’s so big. The NBA wasn’t one of the top leagues. It was definitely looked at as a very thuggish league, you know. They used to fight back in the day a lot, a lot of real grown-man fights. And that was one of the things that David Stern cleaned up—getting the players out, getting us involved in the community, building the brand. He changed that. Once you hit somebody you’re going to lose all your money. The guys started dressing differently. He helped the new players coming in to start thinking of the NBA as more of a business. It really changed the mindset.”