Dwyane Wade admits becoming NBA owner taught him he shouldn’t have given up money during Miami Heat Big 3 era

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Dwyane Wade said in a recent interview that he now realizes that financial sacrifices he made during the Miami Heat’s magical Big 3 era didn’t really need to be made.

Wade appeared on the “Point Forward” podcast and spoke about how his financial sacrifice for the team came about.

“It was tough to give up, I think I gave up $17 or $20 million,” Wade said. “Now, as someone who’s on the other side of it, I didn’t have to give that money up. I could have pushed the envelope a little bit more. I could have made them spread a little bit of that bread.

“There was a lot of things that at the time, as a player, you really didn’t know. You just know that this is what they said needs to be done, and this is what we want to do. Let’s get it done, and so we all had to sacrifice financially.”

Wade’s strong desire to win championships with the Heat was a strong component of his willingness to sacrifice. He had been part of the Heat’s 2006 championship squad, winning Finals MVP honors, and obviously sought to make it back again.

Heat Sacrifice

The arrival of major free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010 required some financial maneuvering by the Heat. That strategic move helped lay the groundwork for the greatest stretch of success in franchise history.

Once James and Bosh entered the Heat’s starting lineup to join Wade, the team reached the NBA Finals for four consecutive years from 2011 to 2014. During the finals in 2012 and 2013, the financial sacrifice required turned to be worth it as the Heat captured the franchise’s second and third championships, respectively.

For James and Bosh, the 2012 championship represented the first time that they had been part of an NBA championship team. James later won championships with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and the Los Angeles Lakers four years later.

Wade eventually left the Heat in 2016 during free agency, but eventually returned to the Heat. For his final season, the Heat legend made one final financial sacrifice by agreeing to sign a contract worth only $2.4 million.

Of course, Wade certainly made plenty of money during the course of his legendary career. That included lucrative off-the-court deals as well.

A Seat in the Owner’s Box

Since Wade’s retirement, he’s gotten a taste of what it’s like to be on the other side of the table as a partial owner of the Utah Jazz. Right now, the future of the Jazz’s superstar guard Donovan Mitchell is currently a hot topic of conversation in both Utah and across the league.

Mitchell is currently signed with the Jazz through the 2024-25 season, with a player option for the following year. Whether Wade eventually asks Mitchell or any other Jazz player to financially sacrifice is something that would be interesting to see.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.