NBA Legend Dwyane Wade Hits a Half-Court Shot With His Podcast ‘The Why’

The former Miami Heat superstar talks about his new show and how he’s built his brand off the court.

In NBA history, Dwyane Wade is universally regarded as one of the greatest shooting guards of all time.

During his 16-year career, the Chicago native won three NBA championships, was a Finals MVP, was an 8-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 13-time NBA All-Star, was a 3-time member of the All-Defensive Team, and won an Olympic Gold medal. In October 2021, Wade was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2023.

Off the court, Wade has ownership stakes e in the Utah Jazz and the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. He also served as executive producer of The Redeem Team, a documentary that chronicled the U.S. Men’s Basketball team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in China.

But he’s not stopping there. In his latest venture, Wade is the host of his new iHeartPodcast series podcast “The Why” where he has candid conversations with athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, and T.V. and film stars. Guests on the show include Carmelo Anthony, Rick Ross, Pat Riley, and many more. caught up with Wade and we spoke about his podcast, how athletes are changing the game as great content creators, and why he would be an even better player if he played in the NBA today. For a couple seasons you were a part of the crew at NBA on TNT. Now you’re all in as content creator with “The Why.” How did you develop the concept for the show?

Dwyane Wade: I miss my voice being heard on certain topics because I'm very opinionated. I love to talk and not just about the game of basketball. I love to talk about people and about what I learned from them as well. Creating “The Why” podcast is an opportunity for listeners to come in and learn something from other people's experiences. Listeners we’ll get to hear other people’s experiences from their walk of life. They’ll get to hear some of the things they've been through and you never know what nugget someone will say that hit what someone is dealing with in real life. I'm a very curious person, so I just want to share that on “The Why” and hopefully the listeners want to go on a journey with me On your debut episode, you pulled in some Hall of Famers with Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, and Pau Gasol. How thrilling was it for you to share those war stories with some of your contemporaries?

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Wade: First of all, shoutout to Tony Parker,  Dirk Nowitzki, and Pau Gasol for taking the time to sit down for my first show. I thought it was a great conversation and it was a moment where you saw some of the game's greats just be fans of each other and be regular people. There were questions that some fans probably wanted to know especially when it came to the competition of the game. I thought it went great and I appreciate those guys.

the For those who only know you as an NBA player, why is it important for you to share other aspects of yourself?

Wade: That is important to me. I'm someone who sometimes has his name in the headlines and I don't even know why. People have opinions of me although I’ve never had a conversation with me. They don't know how I think or how I view things.  As an athlete,  you have an opportunity to have a platform and to take your voice back so that's what I'm looking forward to doing as well. I'm looking forward to putting a little bit more color into who I am, how I think,  and how I process things. Maybe I will get a chance to meet a lot of like-minded people, people who I can learn from. Since you launched the podcast in the middle of the basketball season, how has the style of play changed since your playing days? What’s your view on so many players scoring so many points?

Wade: Probably the biggest change that I see from when I played is that the defense was tighter back then because we didn't have a lot of shooters on the floor. Today, there are five shooters on the floor so the defense is so spread out. You watch a guy that is so dynamic, like Ja Morant as he's going one on one, and you can't help so it allows for players with one-on-one ability to shine bright. Man, if I had, I could have played with no help defense [Laughs]!  I'm sure you have other guys thinking about what they could have done if there was no illegal defense or no hand-checking. So every generation is going to be like, “If I had that put into our game do you know how much greater we could have been? But as a fan, I'm like, “Oh, look at all that space” [Laughs]. How has your success in the NBA prepared you to be successful in business and the media space?

Wade: Most of the time when you're trying to accomplish something it will be lonely. There are a lot of times when you have support around you, your loved ones around you but when they leave it’s all on you.  When I sit back and look at my career and everything that I have accomplished, I'm proud of myself. Like Snoop [Dogg] said, “I want to thank me.”  I’m proud that I didn’t give up on myself. I'm proud that I didn’t give into what's easy to give into, and that I continue to keep going every day, no matter how hard it is. I went through so many injuries and I was told no so many times. I'm just proud that I didn’t give up. There is a growing list of present and former athletes who are content creators in the sports media. Why do you think this is a growing trend?

Wade: Because we're storytellers. I tell people all the time that this storytelling started way before the world got a chance to get to know us. I had to tell myself stories that I was going to be a great NBA player growing up on 59th and Prairie in Chicago. So we're storytellers and now we can tell those stories whether we have production companies or on our podcasts. There are a lot of athletes who are now taking their voice back and it's the perfect time for more of us to do that. I appreciate the athletes who are taking the time to do it because we only know what other people tell us about other people. So it’s good to hear from the horse's mouth. I'm enjoying it. Finally, what has been your greatest transition after you retired from the league? Do you miss those infamous Miami Heat practices?

Wade: [Laughs] I don’t miss those. My groin hurt so bad this morning that if I had to play another game I would be sick. I'm in Chicago and it's freezing. I couldn't imagine how to get up and get his body going so I definitely don't miss that. But I guess what I've learned more than anything since retiring is that life keeps going. As a kid, you feel like you want to play basketball for the rest of your life or if you win a championship, it's going to take care of everything. But those things are kind of fleeting. They’re only there for a moment and life continues to keep going. I wake up every day like, “Okay, gotta get to it.” It doesn't matter what I accomplish. It's about what I do today and what I hopefully build for the future.

Editor's Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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