Dwyane Wade, it took some of us, ahem, a few years to get your first name spelled correctly, but now that we can do it with our eyes closed, you’re gone. You’ve spent 13 years on and off the court, frequenting many restaurants, not too many clubs, and giving us a little gossip along the way (and that memorable photo spread in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue this summer – see above). Chicago restaurants are about to experience a real boon. DWade, it’s been a real ball. Thanks for the memories and column inches. Here are some of your off-court highlights:
Wade and Gabrielle Union Connect
There was once that time when a spy informed us that a still married Wade was seen leaving a hotel room at the Ritz Carlton, Key Biscayne with actress Gabrielle Union. When confronted about this, uh, situation, Wade’s publicist blew a gasket and denied, denied, denied. We had no idea that Wade was in a miserable marriage, but alas, he was. In April, 2008 Wade and Union emerged, albeit at Cafe Martorano in Fort Lauderdale where they were seen dancing to disco before sneaking out the back door — with bodyguard in tow. Then things got quiet between them. That is, until . . .
Wade and Union Ring in the New Year
Jan. 1, 2009
Wade and Union were spotted cozying up together at dinner on the Mondrian’s private terrace followed by a party at The Florida Room’s New Year’s Eve bash featuring The Roots. Union was then spotted courtside at the Heat’s game against, ironically, Cleveland. As happy as the duo was on NYE, they refused photos, something very uncharacteristic of the couple once they were officially out, about and married, but it all made sense if you fast forward to May 2010, when Wade’s then ex-wife Siohvaughn Wade, filed a lawsuit against Union for “emotional distress.”
D-vorce for D-Wade
A Chicago Sun Times report said the ex Mrs. Wade “claims Gabrielle Union engaged in sexual foreplay with Dwyane Wade in front of Wade’s 8-year-old and 2-year-old sons while on an unsupervised visitation to the basketball star’s Miami home.” In 2013, Wade reached a settlement with his ex, agreeing to pay her $5 million, their Chicago mansion, four cars and a “non-disparage” agreement where each party was prohibited from “publicly degrading each other.”
Photo by Bob Metelus
Wade Turns 30
Marital strife aside, Wade’s Miami memories were really all good. Some would say great. Especially in January 2012, when he turned 30 and received a brand new, 2012 McLaren MP4-12C from Ken Gorin, president and CEO of Coral Gables luxe car dealership The Collection, who was also a sponsor at Wade’s multi-sponsored birthday bash at The Setai (see: Hennessy, Belvedere, Dom Perignon –who gifted Wade with a 1982 vintage, Hublot Watches — who gave him a King Power Unico Gold Pave watch worth some peoples’ annual salaries, and many more), attended by his Heat pals, Usher, Flo Rida, Rick Ross, Common, Kelly Rowland, and T.I., among others. The custom ordered car was actually designed by Wade in “Fire Black” with two tone “Saddle Tan/Carbon Black” leather interior. The one-of-a-kind 12C boasts custom alloy wheel center caps with Wade’s signature logo as well as a specialty “WADE” emblem for the rear, WADE Limited Edition side badges and dedication plates on the inside door panels that read “Hand assembled in the United Kingdom in recognition of Dwyane Wade’s 30th Birthday.” We asked Christy Cartaya, The Collection’s director of PR, whether the car was actually a gift or a purchase, to which she replied, “It was a gift – Dwyane is our brand ambassador and spokesperson. We consider him part of our ‘family’.” Apparently so do many other companies as well.
The Big 3 at the Soho Beach House
This may be our favorite Wade memory of all. When the entire city was on edge wondering whether Heat star and Wade BFF LeBron James was going to stay or go, Wade, James and Bosh spent a lovely Wednesday afternoon together in the second-floor member’s lounge at Soho Beach House, where they asked for high security, salad, and no visitors. “They were relaxed and laughing,” says our snitch. They also had watermelon salad and chips with guacamole. The rest, as they say, is Heat-story.
Wade and Union Make It Official
At last, Wade and Union made their, uh, union legal marrying at the moat-protected Chateau Artisan, 25791 SW 167 Ave. Union wore a gown by Dennis Basso, Wade was sporting a Dsquared suit. John Legend performed. Chris Bosh and Kevin Hart were there. Rehearsal dinner was at Prime 112 the night before. Cedric the Entertainer was there. They all ended up at LIV, one of the few times besides when the Heat celebrated their championship wins, that Wade was ever seen in the proverbial club.
Always Down for Karaoke
Wade and Union were a fixture on the Miami restaurant scene. One of his faves was Dena Marino’s MC Kitchen. But for his 34th birthday, Wade celebrated with 20 friends at Lucali’s Bay Club where he was seen singing karaoke in between bites. Karaoke, it seems, was a fave Wade past time. While he should never quit his day job, ahem, he’s still something to watch on the mic as he was in 2013 at former Heat-teammate Shane Battier’s Battioke karaoke charity event.