Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade will have numerous options available during the team’s four-day stay in Los Angeles that will keep him active. However, any sleep that he loses during this time frame will be used to spend more time with his one-month-old daughter Kaavia James Union Wade.
Last month, Wade took paternity leave after his daughter was born in Los Angeles via surrogate on Nov. 7, missing seven games before returning to the court on Nov. 20. He spoke about his plans to take advantage of this opportunity:
“I’m probably not going to sleep much. I’m OK. My daughter, even when I was in LA, maybe the first couple nights it was a little rough. But she was pretty good after a while with sleeping and things like that. But I’m OK with it because I’ve been missing her. I’m willing to enjoy this whole process and get tired in LA. I can sleep in Utah.”
The Heat will face the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night, with Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, having a second home in Los Angeles, allowing him to spend time at home with his new daughter. Despite having been physically away from her, Wade has used technology such as videos and options like FaceTime to remain a constant presence in the newborn’s life.
“My wife is doing a good job of letting her hear my voice, letting her see me as much as she can,” Wade said. “Even though right now, she’s probably still seeing black and white only. But I want her to see this male. There aren’t too many males who are in there. It’s a lot of women around her, so from a male perspective I want her to understand it’s her dad.”
The current inability to see his daughter on a regular basis is because of medical protocol that frowns on newborns traveling by airplane. Wade is hoping that a Christmas reunion in Miami is in the works:
“We’re shooting for Christmas. We’re shooting for the holidays to be her first time coming to Miami. We’re crossing our fingers that she can get all her shots and the doctor allows her to travel.”
In addition to Wade, another key male presence in his daughter’s life will be the future Hall of Famer’s close friend and teammate, Udonis Haslem, who is her godfather. The trip to Los Angeles will also be special for Haslem, since he’ll get a first look at his teammate’s new arrival. He also joked about the newborn’s social media popularity, with more than 300,000 followers already on Kaavia’s Instagram account:
“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. I feel like I know her already because I follow her on Instagram. She’s almost got as many followers as me. But I feel like I know her already. I’m excited to just have the opportunity to bond with her, sit down and just soak up some of that bundle of joy that everybody has been talking about.”
One other amusing aspect for Haslem is related to how he’ll approach his role as godfather.
“You know me, what you see is what you get,” said Haslem. “She can depend on me to chaperone that first date and all that kind of stuff.”
Wade will be facing close friend and former teammate LeBron James when the Heat take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. Their chance to reconnect with one another will likely be brief and possibly limited to just on-court action. However, James has three children of his own and is well aware of the joy that comes with the arrival of a child, so that tight bond that they share will endure.