Dwyane Wade is the new minority owner of Chicago Sky.
The former NBA star and 2023 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee has reportedly purchased a stake in the WNBA franchise, according to ESPN’s Alexa Philippou. The Sky recently sold a roughly 10% stake in the team to a group that included Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts.
“We all talk about support, and support is different for everyone,” Wade told ESPN. “And so instead of tweeting and saying, ‘Go support the W,’ instead of showing up to the game and supporting, I wanted to take it to the next level, and that was the next level for me.”
Wade’s inclusion is still subject to the approval of the WNBA Board of Governors and the exact amount he has invested has not been disclosed. This isn’t Wade’s first sports team either — he bought a stake in the NBA’s Utah Jazz in 2021 and MLS’s Real Salt Lake. in 2022.
Wade, 41, added that he decided to join the Sky ownership group because his mother is a fan of the team and because he grew up in Chicago. He also said he hoped her inclusion in the WNBA would bring more attention to the league and help players continue to lay the foundation for women’s basketball.
“Nobody is bigger than the players,” Wade said. “Nobody’s bigger than A’ja Wilson right now. Nobody’s bigger than Aliyah Boston. Nobody 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 who we can, but we also want to bring our resources to the league. We want to bring what we’ve learned from playing in these leagues for a long time to the front offices, to the teams management and to everyone.”
Other top male athletes have also recently become co-owners of 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 which 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, including 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 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. James Wade (cousin of Dwyane), who coached the Sky for the first 16 games of the season and served as the team’s general manager, resigned on July 1 to become assistant coach of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.