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Getty Former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade addresses the crowd during his jersey retirement ceremony at AmericanAirlines Arena on February 22, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Learning Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade was becoming a part-owner of the Utah Jazz wasn’t just a shock to fans, but a puzzling development for the franchise’s front office.

The only plausible reason had to be that Heat owner Micky Arison never offered the former MVP a piece of the team, but that wasn’t the case at all.

Immediately after Wade announced in mid-April that he’d be joining the Jazz, Arison put out a strong statement on the issue. Arison tweeted, “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.”

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In a GQ feature published on June 8, Wade addressed the matter of Heat fans feeling “abandoned” by the NBA icon who helped bring three championship titles to Miami:

As an athlete, you get it. But, the only thing you can do is live your life and do things for you and your family. And one thing I did for Miami in my 14-and-a-half-year career is give them all I had. They continue to embrace me and my family even though we are not living in that zip code. The love is always there for me, and I think it’s always gonna be there from the fans. We experienced something real together and it’s gonna last all of us a lifetime. I get it, man. But I’m not just one person to stay in one place. I’m a butterfly, man. And I gotta fly.

Wade Explained Why He Chose the Utah Jazz Over Not Just the Miami Heat, But Any Other NBA Franchise View this post on Instagram

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So why did Wade ultimately choose Utah over Miami? The first reason is Wade’s relationship with Jazz owner Ryan Smith.

“Ryan and I have been friends for a while,” Wade told GQ. Ryan is 42 years old and I’m 39. He’s in a business and space in tech that I want to one day get in and learn more about. And I know what I can bring to the table from a basketball standpoint and he sees my values. It just was the right fit.”

The second reason Wade was lured to Utah was the distance between his home in Southern California and Salt Lake City.

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“I live in LA, man. Utah is an hour and 15-minute flight right over the mountains. Everything was right for this phase in my life. For this part in my life [ownership with the Miami Heat] wasn’t the step I wanted to take… Once you retire and you aren’t a player anymore, it’s about business. And you have to put yourself in a situation for the best business opportunity for you and your family. And Utah was that for me.”

Wade Admitted Jazz Star Donovan Mitchell ‘Played A Lot’ Into His Final Decision

GettyDonovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz warms up before Game Five of the Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena on June 2, 2021.

Wade admitted to GQ that the opportunity work closely his “little brother” Donovan Mitchell was a big part in why he choose Utah over Miami.

“I’ve definitely taken a big brother role in his life,” Wade said. “To have that relationship with him and to know it’s going to continue, it feels good… He’s already 24 years old and he’s got a lot more growth to do and he’s already a critical player in our league. So, I’m excited about giving back whatever I’ve learned to him so his career will be greater than mine ever was. And that’s the goal, you’ve got to make sure the generations to come are greater. Right? That’s how the game moves forward.”

But what about his other “little brother,” Bam Adebayo, who’s still in Miami?

“It’s tough because I’m a mentor to a lot of guys, a teammate to a lot of guys, but I’m jumping into ownership,” Wade said. “I’m gonna keep the relationship with certain guys, but I try not to cross that line. I want those guys to keep our relationship exactly how it was and never look at me as someone who’s in ownership, or someone trying to recruit or trying to do anything.

That’s my little brother, Bam. Just like Don. I’m always gonna be there for any information I can pass along in the game of basketball or in business.”

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Former NY sportswriter Kat O’Brien reveals she was raped by MLB player in 2002

More On: mlb Gerrit Cole has unanswered questions as MLB’s sticky crackdown begins MLB star apologizes to young fan after ejection brought her to tears How MLB can avoid more ‘sticky’ controversy Son’s ‘surreal’ baseball rise all ex-Yankee, Met can ask for

A former New York sportswriter has revealed in an explosive emotional essay how she was raped by a Major League Baseball player in a hotel room 18 years ago.

Kat O’Brien was 22 and interviewing the unnamed player for a story about foreign-born sluggers adapting to US culture when he “moved suddenly to kiss me,” she wrote in a first-person column Sunday in the New York Times.

“I said, no, no, I don’t want that, but he pushed me over to the bed,’’ said O’Brien, a former Newsday reporter who was working with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas at the time.

“I tried to shove him,’’ she recalled. “I said no, stop, no, stop, over and over. He pushed further, getting on top of me, pulling off my skirt, and having sex with me against my will.

“Afterward, I remember getting in my car, shaking, to drive home, and looking at my blue-and-white skirt from Express, and thinking why did I have to be wearing a skirt? Because it was Texas in summer,’’ O’Brien said.

“I remember, once I got back to my apartment, drinking a bottle of red wine in a desperate attempt to numb my sadness and rage. Instead, I threw up all over the carpet.’’

The former journalist said she never reported the 2002 attack because “I knew that if I told anyone what happened that it would ruin my career.”

“I was 22 with no track record, and at that time — nearly two decades ago — most people in baseball would have rallied to protect the athlete. So I blamed myself,” she wrote.

“I must have been too nice, too trusting, too friendly and open. Even though I said no, it must have been a misunderstanding.”

Soon after she was raped, she said she then ran into an All-Star player in the Arlington, Texas, ballpark’s visiting-team clubhouse, and he “stared at me, saying my name and the name of his teammate, the man who had raped me.”

“Suddenly I realized [the rapist] must have told people, making himself out to be a stud and me some girl who was there to pick up ball players instead of do my job,” O’Brien wrote.

O’Brien was motivated to come forward with her story after seeing former New York Mets General Manager Jared Porter was fired for sexual harassment.MLB Photos via Getty Images

O’Brien said she never spoke to her attacker after he raped her — and she wouldn’t name him now.

“I choose not to name him because it would only open me up to the possibility of having dirt thrown on my reputation; even all these years later and in the wake of the #MeToo movement, a former professional athlete wields considerable power,” she wrote in the gut-wrenching column.

“I hope I can help bring about systemic change rather than seek unlikely-to-come justice for one horrible act.”

She explained that she was finally coming forward now after learning in January that New York Mets General Manager Jared Porter had been fired for sexting a female reporter.

“I hadn’t been a sports reporter in 11 years, but as I read accounts of other women’s experiences with sexual harassment, the full force of my own assault hit me,” she wrote.

“And with it came the relief that I actually hadn’t invited it, hadn’t done anything wrong at all, something I had never once considered.”

After what happened to her in that hotel room, the former reporter said she didn’t apply for jobs in cities that had teams who her rapist played for. She also avoided gigs that were higher-profile, lest her personal story somehow got out.

O’Brien — a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania — covered the Texas Rangers for the Star-Telegram and then the New York Yankees for Newsday.

O’Brien also wrote about other problems she faced as one of the few female sports reporters at the time.MLB Photos via Getty Images

She claimed that in addition to being raped, she endured “smaller daily assaults” that came with being a female reporter in the sports field — including a “false” rumor that she slept with a team exec to land her job covering the Rangers.

A coach also once nicknamed her “Legs” and players suggested she wore thongs, or nothing at all, under her slacks “since they couldn’t see my panty lines,” she wrote.

There also was the team manager — “(not with the Rangers or Yankees)” — who kept a blow-up doll in his office that players would act out sexually explicit scenes with, O’Brien said.

Then there was the porn aired on a clubhouse TV and a player who asked her favorite sex positions, she claimed.

“I hope that by sharing my experiences, more women will feel comfortable speaking up when something is inappropriate,” O’Brien wrote.

“What I feared losing before — my job in sports journalism — is long gone,” she said. “But I have found my voice.”

Filed under journalists ,  mlb ,  rape ,  6/20/21

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