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Dwyane Wade is the newest minority owner of the Chicago Sky.
The former NBA star and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2023 inductee reportedly bought a stake in the WNBA franchise on Friday, according to ESPN’s Alexa Philippou. The Sky recently sold an approximate 10% stake in the team to a group that included Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts, too
“We all talk about support, and support looks different for everyone,” Wade told ESPN. “And so instead of tweeting out and saying, ‘Go support the W,’ instead of showing up at the game and supporting, I wanted to take it to that next level, and this was the next level for me.”
Wade’s inclusion is still subject to approval by the WNBA’s board of governors. The exact amount he invested was not disclosed. Wade also owns a stake in the NBA’s Utah Jazz, which he bought in 2021, and a stake in Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, which he bought last year.
Wade, 41, added that he decided to join the Sky’s ownership group because his mother is a fan of the team and because he grew up in Chicago. He also said he hopes his inclusion in the WNBA will bring more focus to the league and help players continue to build the foundation of women’s basketball.
“No one is bigger than the players,” Wade said. “No one is bigger than A’ja Wilson right now. No one is bigger than Aliyah Boston. No one wants to be bigger than them as an owner. That’s not what you want. And so we want to bring attention to the league that we can, but we also want to bring our resources to the league. We want to bring what we’ve learned by playing in these leagues for a long time to the front offices, to the management teams and to everyone.”
Other high-profile male athletes have also recently become part-owners in the WNBA. Former NFL quarterback Tom Brady bought part of the Las Vegas Aces in March, and former MLB star Alex Rodriguez’s ownership group acquired the Minnesota Lynx in a 2021 deal that included the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson bought the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.
Wade played 17 seasons in the NBA, most notably for 15 years with the Miami Heat. He made 13 All-Star teams and eight All-NBA teams, won three NBA titles and was the league’s scoring champion for the 2008-09 season. He averaged 22 points, 5.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
The Sky, meanwhile, sit fifth in the WNBA Eastern Conference with an 8-12 record. Wade’s cousin, James Wade, who coached the Sky for the first 16 games of the season and served as the team’s general manager, stepped down July 1 to become an assistant coach for the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.