Dwyane Wade explains why he didn’t have his first ‘real drink’ until 28 years old

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade has always been a driven individual — so much so that he didn’t have a “real drink” until he was around 28 years old, in part because he “wanted to accomplish something.”

The Hall of Famer recently spoke about that choice and revealed what drove it.

“My first probably real drink that I would say was probably at like 28 years old,” he said to Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner. “When I first came in the league, drinking wasn’t even — my whole life, it wasn’t even a focus of mine. A lot of it was because of the community that I grew up in, and when it came to drugs, any form of drugs…or alcohol, I wasn’t into it because I saw what it did to people that I love. And I was really goal-focused, and I wanted to accomplish something. And then after accomplishing something and being around and living the nightlife in Miami and having veteran guys like Alonzo [Mourning] and G.P. (Gary Payton) and Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) and being around all those guys, I eventually started to, like, ‘Okay, I can see how I can enjoy this.'”

Based on Wade’s timeline, he didn’t have a real drink until years after he won his first NBA title. His first ring came in the 2005-06 campaign, which was his age-24 season in the NBA.

Later in his career, Wade won two more NBA titles with the help of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Those championships came in 2012 and 2013, helping the 13-time All-Star solidify his spot in Heat history.

Wade’s choice to stay away from drugs and alcohol for many years may have helped him in his journey, and it’s possible that he’ll inspire some others to do the same. The Heat organization has established a culture that is known for getting the most out of its players while keeping the main thing the main thing. Wade’s lifestyle choices may have served him well in that regard.

These days, the 41-year-old is still finding ways to be involved in the basketball world. He currently holds ownership stakes in the NBA’s Utah Jazz and WNBA’s Chicago Sky. Wade will likely always be remembered best for his time with the Heat, but he could add more rings to his resume through the avenue of ownership in the future.

Meanwhile, his former team, Miami, is looking to get things moving in the right direction after a 1-3 start to the 2023-24 season. The Heat are in action on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets and are looking to snap a three-game losing streak as they begin a home stand that will also include games against the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.