Dwyane Wade says giving up ‘Wade County’ to see his daughter Zaya happier in California has been worth it

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Former Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade revealed that giving up “Wade County” and moving out of South Florida was worth it to see his daughter Zaya happier in California.

He also shouted out Heat star Jimmy Butler in the process.

“I see my daughter shining in a way – and I ain’t talking about shining in where the public know,” the elder Wade said to Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner on the Point Forward podcast. “I’m talking about individually shining, walking with her chest out, with her head up, with the confidence that I want my child to walk through this world with.

“And a lot of it is because of the change of scenery. And so if I gotta take a step back and give up ‘Wade County’ and let it be ‘Butler Block’ or whatever the hell – I don’t know. Egos not big enough for that, man. It is ultimately about making sure that – hopefully – the ones that I love are in a place where they can become their best selves like I’m trying to become my best self as well.”

Earlier this year, the elder Wade shared that his “family would not be accepted or feel comfortable” in South Florida, which was a reason for moving.

The younger Wade, who came out as transgender in 2020, has become an important figure in the LGBTQ+ community for coming out and embracing who she really is. The elder Wade and his wife have been nothing but supportive of their child, and it shows by his decision to move the family out of South Florida.

Unfortunately for the Wade family, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been outspoken against the LGBTQ+ community, which certainly made it uncomfortable for the younger Wade to reside in the state. Since the elder Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union have helped support the LGBTQ+ community, it makes sense that they wanted to move to a place where their daughter would be more widely accepted.

Even though the elder Wade has moved on from living in South Florida, his legacy as a player with the Heat will never change.

The elder Wade brought the Heat to a ton of success in his NBA career, winning three titles with the franchise and appearing in five NBA Finals.

His first NBA title came in the 2005-06 season alongside Shaquille O’Neal, as the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks in six games. The elder Wade was amazing in that series, earning the NBA Finals MVP award for his play.

Later on in his career, the three-time champion helped form the Big 3 in Miami alongside LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The trio went to the NBA Finals in four straight seasons, winning two titles against the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.

While Miami has made it back to the Finals since the elder Wade retired with the team, the Heat have not won a title since the Big 3 era.

This year, the elder Wade was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in his career. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history, and his numbers back it up.

Now, the 13-time All-Star appears to be focused on a new legacy – being the best father that he can be. He’s certainly done that with his support of his daughter, even if it came with leaving a place that was home to him for many years.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.