Athletes don’t want to just play for teams, they want to own them.
Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade is the latest to make that clear — he bought an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz, ESPN reported on Friday.
The three-time NBA champion joins a growing list of athlete owners. Ex-New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is working on a deal to purchase the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, his former teammate Derek Jeter is a minority owner of MLB’s Miami Marlins, and tennis superstars Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka each have stakes in NWSL teams.
Former NBA stars who’ve bought ownership stakes range from Michael Jordan (Charlotte Hornets) and Shaquille O’Neal (Sacramento Kings) to Grant Hill (Atlanta Hawks). Magic Johnson sold his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, but he still owns stakes in the Los Angeles Sparks, Los Angeles Football Club, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“This goes way beyond the dream I had to just play basketball in the NBA,” Wade told ESPN.
Apparently Wade had his choice of clubs: Miami Heat owner Mickey Arison tweeted that he discussed having his former star join the Heat ownership group.
Famous athletes bring sizzle and capital to ownership groups, and many of them have money to spare. Wade amassed $196.4 million just in salary during his 16-year career, per Spotrac.
The next frontier: superstars owning teams while still playing. As part of his investment in Fenway Sports Group, LeBron James owns a stake in MLB’s Boston Red Sox. Kevin Durant controls a piece of MLS club Philadelphia Union.