Next week, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade will play his final regular season games. Depending on how far the Heat go in the playoffs, he will be bringing an NBA career spanning seventeen seasons, three NBA championships and 13 All-Star game appearances to a close very soon. Basketball is all the 37-year-old has known for so long, and what he has been lauded for, so what will he do when it’s all over?
“I’ll be in therapy.”
According to a new interview alongside wife Gabrielle Union with ESPN, Wade said he’s serious about seeking out therapy because he recognizes that no longer playing basketball will be a huge change for him.
“I meant it is going to be a big change. This is what I know, like, my life has been this. it’s not all that I am, of course, but this is the main part of it,” he said. “From the standpoint of it makes everything work. I told my wife, I said, I need to do therapy and we need to do a little bit. I was always against someone that don’t know me telling me how to live my life or giving me instructions. But I need someone to talk to about it. Because it is a big change. Even though I got a long life to live, other great things I can accomplish and do, it’s not this. So it’s going to be different.”
Interesting enough, Union said that she’s been encouraging him to go therapy for years. She looks forward to the positive impact that could have on other NBA players and men in general when it comes to being open about seeking out treatment.
“I’ve been going many years,” she said. “He’s like, ‘All right, good luck with that.’ Come, come. So for him to come around and see the benefit, and actually look forward to it, I think it is going to do a lot for the stigma. For mind, body and soul wellness.”
Outside of therapy though, Wade said he isn’t clear on what he’ll do in his retirement. He’ll be able to spend more time with his kids and wife, but other than that, he’s down for whatever.
“I have no idea what it is I want to do yet,” he said. “But I definitely know I want to do a little bit of everything. Especially in the beginning, I want to see what I can be great at. I’m so used to being great at something or trying to strive to be great at something. That’s what I want to be at whatever else I choose to do. We’ll see.”