Former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade is joining WarnerMedia on a multiyear deal that will include NBA and NCAA basketball commentating for Turner Sports and working as a creative director for Bleacher Report.
Wade's 59th & Prairie Entertainment also landed an agreement with WarnerMedia to create additional projects, with details to be announced at a later date.
"I'm thrilled and grateful to be joining the WarnerMedia family with many exciting opportunities ahead," Wade said in a press release.
"I have great respect for TNT's team of analysts and their long-standing commitment to quality sports coverage. After 16 seasons in the NBA, I look forward to connecting with my fans in this new role and bringing my own perspective to the game I love."
Jeff Zucker, Chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, also commented on adding Wade.
"Dwyane is a special talent. He's a transcendent star with a charismatic, engaging and thoughtful personality on and off the court," Zucker said.
"We're thrilled to welcome him to the WarnerMedia family and we could not be more excited to partner with him on these special projects."
Per a WarnerMedia press release, Wade will be "making appearances at TNT's tent pole NBA events."
Furthermore, the three-time NBA champion will work as an analyst alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Candace Parker on TNT's Tuesday evening coverage. He'll also join the studio for the NCAA men's basketball Final Four and national championship, which is jointly covered by Turner Sports and CBS Sports.
Wade has kept busy in his post-NBA life, partnering with winemaker Jayson Pahlmeyer to create Wade Cellars, a winery based in Napa, California, that launched in 2018.
Wade retired at the end of the 2018-19 season after a decorated 16-year NBA career that includes three NBA titles, 13 All-Star nods, eight All-NBA team appearances and the 2006 Finals MVP. He averaged 22.0 points, 5.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
The Miami Heat drafted Wade third overall out of Marquette in 2003. He averaged 21.5 points on 50.1 percent shooting in 2002-03 and led the Golden Eagles to a Final Four appearance.
The fight to save the NBA in China
Shaquille O'Neal on Tuesday came to the defense of Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey, who set off a firestorm between the NBA and China earlier this month when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
"One of our best values here in America is free speech — we're allowed to say what we want to say and we are allowed to speak out on injustices and that's just how it goes and if people don't understand that that's something they have to deal with," Shaq said on TNT's pregame show on opening night of the NBA season.
"It was unfortunate for both parties, and you've got people speaking out about something they don't know what they're talking about," the four-time NBA champion continued. "Daryl Morey was right — whenever you see something going on anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say, 'That's not right.'"
Morey tweeted in support of the anti-government protesters on October 4, saying, "Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong." As a result, several Chinese partners cut ties with the NBA, its largest broadcaster refused to air preseason games taking place in the country and the government called for Morey to be fired.
But Commissioner Adam Silver said the league supports free speech and there was "no chance" that the league would discipline Morey over his tweet. Meanwhile, Morey has not addressed the controversy since several tweets attempting to clarify his position on the protests.
Several of the league's biggest stars, including LeBron James and James Harden, attempted to soften the blow. James called Morey's comment "misinformed," while Harden apologized for the tweet, saying, "We apologize. We love China. We love playing there."
The NBA season kicks off Tuesday as the New Orleans Pelicans take on the reigning champion Toronto Raptors, and the Los Angeles Lakers face the Los Angeles Clippers.
New Orleans is 1-7 against Toronto since 2015, but they'll have a chance to close the gap this evening. New Orleans and Toronto are opening their 2019 seasons against one another at 8 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena. Last year was nothing to brag about for the Pelicans (33-49), so the squad is looking forward to a new start. Unfortunately, they will be doing so without the services of Zion Williamson who will be sidelined for tonight's game, as well as the next six-to-eight weeks, after undergoing a procedure on his meniscus.
On the other hand, Toronto was 58-24 last year and, of course, is the reigning champ after their 114-110 win over Golden State in game six of the NBA Finals. The defending champions will have to lock in and focus on their opponent after receiving their championship rings and raising a banner to the rafters of Scotiabank Arena.
Since the experts predict a loss, New Orleans will need to dig deep. Perhaps they'll be able to flip the script and come out with a big win.