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Interview by Jose Martinez (@ZayMarty)
While this NBA Lockout has forced many players to contemplate competing overseas or seeking a solution through temporary jobs, few have dedicated their time off to becoming true entrepreneurs like Dwyane Wade. After all, Wade’s greatest entrepreneurial feat may have been when he figured out a way to get two of the best players in the Association to play alongside him in an effort to win the NBA Championship. Now, with the NBA in a standstill, D-Wade continues to make moves on the court in a charity game near you, and off the court with his support of a product that could change the game of basketball.
While in New York City last week, we caught up with the Miami Heat guard to discuss his NBA 2K12 rating, how him and his teammates really feel about Skip Bayless and the new Mission Athletecare’s Court Grip.
Recently, you had a tweet commenting on a jab that Skip Bayless threw out about you getting manis and pedis. Now, you’re not the only Miami Heat player that Bayless has joked around with. How does the team really feel about him?
Dwyane Wade: [Laughs.] You know what, it’s entertainment. We all watch it. Some of us laugh. Even when he says something about us, we’ll probably laugh because it might be funny. As you saw, Bosh went on and had something to say about the way Skip twisted his name but we try to have fun with it. I don’t necessarily concern myself too much with what people say because everyone has an opinion. Even today, I had fun with the manicure and pedicure thing. He asked me to come back on the show and I said, “Listen, if I can do it between my manis and pedis, maybe I will.” So we just try to have fun with it and enjoy.
And speaking of people’s opinions, did you have a chance to look at the NBA 2K12 player ratings yet?
Dwyane Wade: I haven’t seen it, but I got a lot of Twitter messages about it. I heard that I got a 96 rating. I think they were a little fair.
Well, you are the second-best player in the game…
Dwyane Wade: [Laughs.] It’s cool. People always look at that and be like, “How is Kobe a 94? How are you a 96? How did LeBron get a 98?” and I just laugh. I know that over the course of my career, some years I have been terrible and I was like, “Oh my goodness, I’m way better than this.” Some years I do stuff in the game that I’m like, “Oh, I can’t do that.” [Laughter.] So, it is what it is.
Are you big into video games?
Dwyane Wade: Nah. Every now and then I’ll play it because my son plays it, but I’m not a gamer. I don’t play against other guys because I don’t play enough and I don’t want to lose. I’ll play against my son and joke around like that.
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Do either of you play as the Miami Heat?
Dwyane Wade: I’m always the Heat. Well, not always. I’d say that 95 percent of the time, I’m the Heat.
So, what team does your son play as when he’s facing you?
Dwyane Wade: Sometimes, he picks the same team. Or he has his favorite teams, like the Lakers or the Magic. It all depends on who he has. You know, he would make his own team and put all these players on one team. So I have to get a team that can compete, like getting the ’91 Bulls or something. [Laughs.]
But picking the Miami Heat isn’t that bad either.
Dwyane Wade: No, not bad at all. You can’t go wrong.
What are your plans for the upcoming months during this NBA Lockout?
Dwyane Wade: Well, just to continue playing, working out and getting prepared. You never know what you’re going to do when they talk about when the lockout will end or when you’re going to play. I’m a dad first, so I have to continue to support my boys and give them the time they need, but also continue to work because it’s a work stoppage. I have a job. I have to make sure that I can continue to be able to live my life.
On a lighter note, now you’re here with Court Grip. Who approached who with the idea of this product?
Dwyane Wade: First, I want to mention that being a part of a brand that is for athletes, by athletes, Mission Athletecare asked me about my needs and when I told them, they said, “really?” They came up with the things they were working on for a while and we got together at that point and I helped them from where they were to where we are now.
In your own words, how would describe Court Grip?
Dwyane Wade: Game changer. Court Grip is exactly what the title implies, it’s grip for the court and it gives you the traction you need. It doesn’t take anything away from your game. It only enhances.
So you’re saying that Court Grip is a game changer. How confident are you that this product will change the game of basketball?
Dwyane Wade: Well, I think that anybody who gives it a chance and applies it will understand that it’s something that will change the game of basketball. Being a person who has played the game of basketball without using Court Grip and now plays the game with the product, it was a game changer. A lot of these courts that we play on aren’t the best when it comes to the wood or even the dirt. It’s just not as clean. But Court Grip gives me an edge. So if I want to go out on the court and make my moves sharp. Normally, when I’m on the court, I spit to get some traction. Now I don’t have to do that anymore and that’s a good thing.