Retired NBA superstar Dwyane Wade said being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month was like a “cherry on top” of his 16-year career.
The three-time NBA champion also discussed his decision to become a part of the ownership group of the Women’s National Basketball Association team Chicago Sky, and said it was his way of supporting the growth of the women’s game in the sport he loves.
Speaking to reporters in Hong Kong on Wednesday about his investment with business partners including the retired Udonis Haslem, D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers, and his elder son Zaire Wade, as he concluded a tour of China for sports apparel brand Li Ning, Wade admitted being a Hall of Famer was special to him.
“You don’t play for the Hall of Fame, that doesn’t determine if you had a successful career or not,” Wade, a 13-time NBA All-Star, said.
“I was blessed enough to be able to put a career together, and to be able to have teammates to win championships.
“I had an amazing career whether I made it to the Hall of Fame or not, but it’s definitely a cherry on top, and it is special because I can enjoy it with my fans and family.”
The 41-year-old Chicago native Wade, who retired in 2019, is part of a group alongside Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts that owns 10 per cent of the Chicago Sky.
“We are all fans of basketball, we all love it, and it is our language,” he said. “I got to see the vision of Chicago Sky, and I had the chance to understand the impact I can have in the community of Chicago and the impact I can have on the game.
“My version of support at this point of my life is to be a part of the ownership group, and I look forward to what I can do to help the organisation and the WNBA to continue to take steps into the future.”
Wade, who was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2006, also encouraged the younger generation to keep pursuing their dreams.
“Dream big, believe in yourself, be prepared, and be committed,” the former NBA scoring champion said. “This will not always lead to the success you want when you want it, so be committed to the journey.
“Your journey is custom-made for you, like what I always told my son – be obsessed with your journey, because you can take aspirations from other people’s journeys, but be obsessed with yours.”
Among the 500-plus fans gathered in front of the store at Tuen Mun Town Plaza was basketball fan Chris Huang He, who started idolising Wade in 2006.
“I started to like him a lot since the NBA Finals in 2006 – his basketball resume is so glorious,” the 30-year-old said. “He is also a fashionable guy off the court, and this was the first time for me to see him in person.
“I started to collect the first generation of his signature shoe in 2012, and now I have over 30 pairs of them at home.”
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