Dwyane Wade Gets A Grip
The Miami guard talks about Court Grip, a product marketed to help improve court traction.
SLAM: You’re gonna get your teammates involved in using this?
DW: Well, hopefully everyone uses it. It’s just to get a mental edge. It’s not knocking the sneakers that we wear because we have the best. But I think a lot of people will use it because it’s simple to use. And then when you use it you think, ‘It does make a difference.’ It makes a difference in how you stop and how you cut.
SLAM: Yeah, I actually wanted to ask you about that because you were demonstrating a few minutes ago all the offensive moves you make based off cutting, starting and stopping. You have your signature move, what do you call that two-step move you have?
DW: [Smiles] Oh, the two-step? I mean, I guess that’s my signature move right now. I feel like I go through stages where I have a signature move. I guess right now a lot of the kids look at that.
SLAM: Well, you have that and then other moves where you’re posting up or cutting to the hoop. What movements offensively and defensively does this Court Grip help you make?
DW: Let’s just say with the two-step, it’s about changing direction. It’s about going one direction real fast and then the other [direction] fast. If you don’t have the grip, if you don’t have the traction, you’re not gonna be able to do that. You’re not gonna be able to do that as effective where you can do it and still finish strong. The grip enables you to have takeoff, as well. Obviously it helps you on defense and be able to move your feet and slide. The one thing I love about the product and that I wanted to make sure it had was it’s not sticky. You can put it on immediately and you feel the grip. I can feel it. [Shuffles his feet] It stays on way longer than any product there’s been on the market.
SLAM: About the lockout. What have you learned about collective bargaining, labor negotiation, that you weren’t aware of before all this came down?
DW: Ahh, how tedious it all is. You know, sitting in a room and from the outside you think there are these amazing conversations going on. A lot of times, there aren’t. You know, it’s a lot of Kindergarden-type bickering back and forth. To me, it’s a waste of time to point fingers. We’re all in this together to try to build this game. We have to come to a middle [ground] for both sides to be successful. You know, so that’s one thing I was very surprised about.
SLAM: You have so many more years in your career, so is this something you would like to become more involved in as time goes on? Or is it just a turn-off?
DW: I guess it depends. When you go into negotiation with someone, it’s like when you’re trying to have a conversation with somebody and they turn their back on you and they cover their ears. They won’t listen, they won’t talk to you. That’s kinda how negotiations are, a little bit. I don’t want to go to too many of these. Hopefully this is the last one I go to through my career as an athlete.
SLAM: Your sons are old enough now to understand what’s going on. How do you explain to them what’s happening right now?
DW: Yeah, I mean, a little bit. My older son, ‘Dad, why you not playing?’ I just let him know that you know what, Dad wants to play, it’s not that I don’t want to. The owners have decided to lock us out and we’re trying to reach an agreement so that we can all get back on the court again without too much more litigation and labor stuff that’s going on.
SLAM: With LeBron [James] and Chris [Bosh] – a year wiser, more experienced. Anytime someone moves somewhere, that person kind of evolves, just who they are as a person. In what way have you noticed that with LeBron and Chris?
DW: Well, first with Chris, obviously Chris got married. You know, he’s settling into the man he wants to be and the husband he wants to be. I’m happy for him that he got married and found his home. So, you can see the maturity there.
And, LeBron, has overcome a lot. What he went through in one year, there aren’t too many people in the world who can say they endured that. But I think he’s come out of it a better person. He’s in on the joke, as they say. And I think to be apart of seeing him mature at the age of 26 – that’s when I started maturing, as well. It’s kind of cool to see that process.
SLAM: How did the Finals experience affect the Heat’s mentality heading into this season?
DW: I think positively in the sense of it’s only going to drive us. Obviously, it humbles you. Anytime you lose, you get humbled. Whether it’s a regular game or the Finals, you get humbled. And it’s going to drive us. Whenever we get back on the court, we’re going to be driven to get back to that moment again so we can seize it.
SLAM: What do you love about the Jordan Fly Wade?
DW: The Fly Wade part, that’s what I love most. [Smiles] It’s cool. I’ve had sneakers before with Converse. It’s just cool to have a sneaker with a brand that I feel like I grew up apart of for so many years with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. So, I love the product. The first shoe, I thought, was done well and the second was even better. And hopefully we just keep going from there.
SLAM: Do you take inspiration for the shoes from the fashion shows you attend?
DW: Yeah, that’s one thing that we’re really trying to get into now. This is my third year [with Jordan Brand], so they’re getting to know me a little bit, getting to know my personality. Now, we can start taking some of my personality and put it into my show.
SLAM: Like the colorways, or in what other ways?
DW: One thing you try to be is fashion-forward, which the brand is known for. Obviously you think about how the Jordan III had elephant print on it. So, just think about what fashion is – it’s about being fashion-forward. Try to create that and it carries on.
SLAM: Any advertisements or other promotional concepts you have coming up for Jordan Brand?
DW: We got some things. We shot some ads this summer and have some good ads that are coming out. We got some strategic plans to do things. All our partners, we’re still running full steam ahead. My sneaker comes out December 7 – tentatively, that’s the date – and we still going full ahead.
All images credited to Mission Athletecare