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Heat owner Micky Arison responds to news of Dwyane Wade buying part ownership of Jazz

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Arison says Wade “will always be a HEAT lifer” but admits he is disappointed with the announcement.

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Today’s surprising announcement that Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade has purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz caught many off-guard and now Heat owner Micky Arison has also responded to the news.

Wade will be “joining majority owner and team governor Ryan Smith with plans to take an active role in the franchise and region,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Many Heat fans were left wondering why Arison hadn’t offered a similar deal to the team’s greatest player who had won three championship rings together with. I know I was wondering that since I was a bit puzzled and surprised by the announcement myself. But then Arison released a statement on Twitter stating that the Heat were in fact open to bringing Wade onboard their ownership group once he retired in 2019.

I want to congratulate Dwyane on his recent announcement. We had discussed having him join our ownership group after his retirement but he was not prepared to commmit at the time. Of course I am disappointed that he didn’t reconsider.

Having said that I wish him good luck and much success with the Jazz. To me Dwyane will always be a HEAT lifer.

Sure, it doesn’t have the same gravitas as when Wade left to play for the Chicago Bulls and then the Cleveland Cavaliers before finally coming back home and rightfully ending his spectacular career with the Heat. But still, how much cooler would it have been for #3 to transition over to that side of the franchise when he was ready to take on that kind of role at any point in his retirement?

Perhaps it made too much sense for Wade to stay with the Heat in some capacity, given that dozens of former Heat players from different eras of their rich history have eventually returned to the franchise to take on a variety of roles within the organization. Maybe he wanted to blaze a new trail elsewhere, to a new NBA franchise (a pretty random one at that) but one with a trusted business partner in Ryan Smith, and I can respect that and certainly wish him well on his new journey.

There’s always the future — and a theoretical possibility that Wade could simply sell his stake with the Jazz and choose to one day rejoin his former teammates back in Miami. After all, he’s already returned home once before.