Bloomberg Businessweek

Dwyane Wade Shooting guard, Miami Heat

The NBA superstar talks to Bloomberg Businessweek Editor Joel Weber about the league’s evolution, his business portfolio, and preparing for life after basketball

You’re a 12-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA champ, 20,000 career points, 4,000 rebounds. What did I miss?

A lot. I’ve got 22,000 points now. An Olympic gold medal.

And a bronze.

I don’t really talk about that.

What are the things that you still think you want to cross off?

From a basketball standpoint? I’m way past where I wanted to go. I just wanted to play in the NBA, and I got a chance to do that. And from there, everything else has definitely been the cherry on top of my career. I couldn’t have written it any better than it’s been, so I’m cool.

When you think back on your 15 years in the NBA, how has the league changed?

First of all, David Stern, our last commissioner, did an amazing job of helping us grow our game, saying “OK, we need a face-lift, and let’s do this differently.” He made our game global to where, in China and other countries, it’s so big. The NBA wasn’t one of the top leagues. It was definitely looked at as a very thuggish league, you know. They used to fight back in the day a lot, a lot of real grown-man fights. And that was one of the things that David Stern cleaned up—getting the players out, getting us involved in the community, building the brand.

He changed that. Once you hit somebody you’re going to lose all your money. The guys started dressing differently. He helped the new players coming in to start thinking of the NBA as more of a business. It really changed the mindset.

The NBA finals this year, between the Golden State

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