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Volume 26 No. 139
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Life After Ball: Dwyane Wade Joining TNT As NBA Commentator

Dwyane Wade has "reached a multi-year deal with TNT and WarnerMedia where he'll be a basketball commentator," making appearances on the net's "Inside the NBA" and becoming a "regular member of TNT's Tuesday studio coverage with Shaquille O'Neal and Candace Parker," according to Khobi Price of the South Florida SUN SENTINEL. Wade also will make "studio appearances at the NCAA Final Four and National Championship." The former NBAer's contributions will include a "variety of projects across Turner's entire portfolio and cross-over a number of areas including sports, lifestyle and entertainment." In addition to his on-air role, Wade will "contribute as a creative director on a number of special projects for Bleacher Report." Wade and his production company 59th & Prairie Entertainment also have "reached a development deal with WarnerMedia and will create a number of projects over the length of the agreement" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 10/23).

SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING: In DC, Ben Golliver writes Wade was "easily this summer's biggest NBA television free agent." For years, his "transition to television has seemed inevitable." Wade served as a guest analyst on ESPN and ABC during the '15 NBA Finals. At the time, he said a post-playing career in television was a possibility "if it was right and made sense." Wade also this summer joined his wife, Gabrielle Union, as a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23). In N.Y., Andrew Marchand notes ESPN/ABC and Disney also "had interest in signing Wade" to a broadcasting role" (N.Y. POST, 10/23).

JOINING A NEW TEAM: Wade made his TNT debut last night, with Charles Barkley saying, "Welcome to the team." Shaquille O'Neal, who played with Wade for four seasons with the Heat, teased Wade's open-collar look by saying, "Where your tie at?" Barkley: "He can do what he wants to do." After some more banter, O'Neal challenged Barkley and Kenny Smith to a two-on-two game against him and Wade, resulting in some predictable trash talking. Wade said, "This is the best comedy show on TV." Host Ernie Johnson said, "We're going to take a quick break. We're going to actually allow D-Wade to say something in the next segment" ("NBA Tip-Off," TNT, 10/22). NBC SPORTS' Dane Delgado wrote Wade was a "little rocky on his first live TV appearance with the regular crew, but the folks at TNT will coach him up on tricks of the trade -- like turning to speak to both sides of the desk while making a point." Having other members of the "Inside the NBA" crew there to "speak to should give Wade a little breathing room" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/22).