Dwyane Wade is 31 years old and does not plan to retire just yet, but when the shooting guard of the Miami Heat decides that it is time to depart from the NBA, he could embark on one last basketball journey and takes his stardom to China.
Wade made a surprising move before the beginning of this season, when he decided to end his partnership with the Jordan brand, in order to sign with the Chinese shoe brand Li-Ning.
Despite moving to a less popular brand, Wade obviously still got a multimillion dollar contract. What really made the move lucrative to Wade was the fact that he was able to get a great deal of equity in the company, something that could pay off big-time in the future. His contract supposedly runs until his retirement and a couple more years after that.
Jalen Rose, of ESPN, recently said in a podcast that Wade could also play a season in China:
“I heard a rumor that Dwyane Wade even promised this company that when he retires from the NBA, that he is going to come play a year in China.”
Obviously this is just a rumor and Rose refuses to name the source, but Wade playing in China before he retires definitely makes sense.
Nike is dominating the US market and regardless of Li-Ning’s product quality, it will be a tough challenge for the Chinese brand to truly break through in America. China, meanwhile, has a growing interest in the NBA and basketball in general. As Wade not only represents the company but also has equity shares, it is not inconceivable that he would promote the brand in China for the potentially great financial benefits.
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis