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Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill speaks with Miami Heat legend and Utah Jazz minority owner Dwyane Wade about his relationships with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, and the interesting nature of his relationship with Jazz CEO Danny Ainge.
VINCENT GOODWILL: When you look to Utah and you look to Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, a lot of people have made the comparison that Donovan Mitchell is similar to a young Dwyane Wade and it hasn't manifested itself in terms of playoff success. What type of conversations do you have with him, not just about maybe his relationship with Rudy or whatever, but just about growing with a franchise and maybe sticking with something even when it doesn't look so good.
DWYANE WADE: That's not my conversations with Donovan. Just because I'm on the owner side doesn't mean I'm going to give you always owner speak. You know, I'm a realist and I understand this is my little brother. This is a guy who's blazing the same trail as I blazed, building himself to become a name. Donovan Mitchell wasn't one of the names we all thought we were hear.
And so my biggest thing for Donovan is always just how he's growing as a leader. How he's adding to his game year after year. And as much information as he wants from me, my job inside the ownership is-- I don't have the hard job. I'm not the GM, I'm not the president, I don't have the hard job. My job is to come in and bring my basketball experience to this ownership group and to the players when I can.
And so that's what I do for Donovan. I bring my basketball experience to him as someone who went through the same journey.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Well, the funny thing is the new Executive Vice President I believe is Danny Ainge. You and his Boston Celtics got into some fierce playoff battles, numerous playoff battles. Do you guys ever talk about how crazy that was? Like that was a real rivalry for a number of years with a real old fashioned hatred between the Celtics and the Heat.
DWYANE WADE: Yeah, we talk about it. Like we're basketball nerds, man, you know what I'm saying? We talk about it. And Danny is someone who I didn't have the opportunity to get to know as a player. And the funny thing is-- and Spo said it last night. He said, it's weird seeing Dwyane sitting next to Danny courtside.
And it will forever be weird for Spo to see me in anything but Miami Heat everything, right? But here's the thing, as a player I never got a chance to know Danny. Danny's beef was with Pat or Danny's beef was with scouts. It wasn't with me as a player. Like yeah, you hate or dislike every player that comes in and that's good that can beat your team.
But Danny and I have gotten a chance to golf it out. Get on a golf course, have some conversations. And we both realize that we're both basketball nerds and so we love talking about the game. And so actually he's one of my favorite people now to talk to about basketball that I can call up and just talk some basketball nerd stuff with, man.
So it's just me building relationships on my own and not building them through a hand-me-down. And getting to know people on my own.