untung99.biz: Dwyane Wade renaissance man in postNBA life

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Dwyane Wade retired from professional basketball. But Dwyane Wade retire from working? A person just can’t golf every day.

“I’m really starting to love the game, but I can’t just do that for the rest of my life, not at this point,” Wade told USA TODAY Sports on Monday ahead of his Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction Saturday. “I still have got so much that I want to accomplish. I’ve got so much that I want to prove to myself. I’m an example to my son, to my daughters, to my family.

“And so it’s just not who I am. It’s not who my father raised me to be. It’s not who my dad was at all neither. So I’m on this quest. I’m on this quest to really try to find out what the renaissance man is really about and what all it takes to be that if I think I am that. And so I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’ve got a long way to go.”

Away from playing in the NBA for four years, Wade is as busy as he’s ever been with his involvement in projects, businesses, partnerships and philanthropy.

That includes his wine from Wade Cellars; apparel featuring his Way of Wade line of sneakers; Proudly, a Black-owned baby care brand he co-founded; an ownership stake in the NBA’s Utah Jazz and WNBA’s Chicago Sky; a partner in 800° Woodfired Kitchen; a co-founder with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul of Social Change Fund United which invests in and supports organizations “empowering communities of color;” running the Wade Family Foundation; and his entertainment production company which he says is focused on telling stories about his community which includes the LGBTQ community. Wade’s daughter, Zaya, is transgender. His company also has produced two seasons of the game show “The Cube” for Warner Bros. Discovery.

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“Just like I came into this league, I put down my list and said, ‘How do I want to be as a pro? How do I want to be perceived?” said Wade, whose day begins between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. for physical and mental well-being and family focus. “I’m doing the same thing in this life.”

Dwyane Wade went from overlooked to superstar

Basketball has afforded Wade the opportunity to explore an extensive post-NBA career.

Wade won three titles, a Finals MVP in 2006, the scoring title in 2008-09, was a 13-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA selection, three-time All-Defensive performer, was named one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history in 2021 and a top-40 career scorer.

He is one of the league’s greatest shooting guards, an integral part of turning the Heat into one of the best franchises.

And he is deeply appreciative of his basketball career. Without giving away too many details about his Hall of Fame speech, Wade said he will try to break down his gratitude based on mentors, family, people he looked up to and others who were important in his life.

“That’s been the hardest part of having a speech is trying to put your whole career into 10-12 minutes,” he said. “I just try to go through and put these boxes in knowing that I can’t individually give everybody a full paragraph, but I can say something that’s powerful enough within a paragraph that people understand what they meant to me and the importance of them in my life, and so hopefully I accomplish it.”

During his playing days, Wade had a thoughtful and insightful approach to answering questions. He possesses a unique way of illuminating what happened and how it applied to him. His gratitude is often at the center of those answers.

Wade wasn’t a sure thing coming out of high school. He wasn’t a top-50 player and maybe not even top-100 prospect. He attended Marquette where he developed into a lottery pick and was selected No. 5 in the 2003 draft that featured LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. But even the No. 5 pick isn’t guaranteed a Hall of Fame career.

“I wanted it, and I did everything in my power that I knew to actually accomplish it and to be able to sit back and be like, ‘Damn, you did that,’ ” Wade said. “I may not be the one that they would talk about when it comes to debates of the goats, right? But my career to me is one of the goat careers that you can have because of the way I started it versus the way it ended.”

Now, he’s headed into the Hall of Fame.

“People try to be humble. I’m not trying to be. I literally feel like the luckiest kid, right?” Wade said. “I’m still a kid inside at times. The luckiest father. The luckiest man because everybody doesn’t get a chance to go through life and have a dream and have all the support in the world to reach their dream. I had that. That’s why I provide that for my kids and my family. And so every day I’m just so thankful to do life.

“It is a story that books are written about. It’s what movies are made of and I get to actually live that. And so it feels surreal and out of body a lot of times.”

Follow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt