This Christmas Day Dwyane Wade will be getting ready for work when most people in South Florida will have finished opening their gifts from Santa Claus (including, perhaps, a Wade-designed Hublot watch).
His Miami Heat will play host to the New Orleans Pelicans at noon Friday, Dec, 25 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
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For six consecutive seasons, the Heat and Wade have been staples on Christmas Day games, so Wade knows the drill when it comes to the holidays with his family. His foundation has already helped the less fortunate in Miami with the 3 Under The Tree program, and his own family has usually exchanged gifts by now.
“It’s great to be involved in different levels and scales,” Wade said. “Even when we didn’t have anything, I always knew that what we had is always more than what someone else has, so I have always been that kind of person.”
Wade, 33, recently shared with us his childhood Christmas memories and how he celebrates with his wife, Gabrielle Union, and sons, Zaire and Zion.
What was Christmas like for you growing up in Chicago?
I didn’t grow up in the best situation when I was young, so we weren’t fortunate enough to have a big Christmas. When I was in grammar school they had an essay contest, and whoever wrote the best one got Santa to come to your house and drop off gifts. I don’t know if my essay was good or the school felt bad for us and sent Santa anyway, but we won. That was like the best Christmas, and Santa came with a lot of gifts at the house.
Now you seem to always be working on Christmas Day. So how do you balance that with your duties as a father and with your sons?
In our household, it’s not about that one day. We kind of celebrate the holidays, because sometimes I am not even here for Christmas — I may be on the road. My wife may be out shooting a movie, so we have to get the time as a family when we can. So we sometimes open up gifts on the 21st. Our kids have learned that we do things a little different than what you might see on a Christmas movie or on TV.
How do your boys let you know what they want for Christmas?
We do take lists every year of what they want and depending on what they do in school and how they’ve been acting, depends on how many gifts they get. Report cards came out not too long ago, so all that plays a big role. My oldest son is simple — he wants sneakers or clothes. My youngest son, Zion, is 8, and one year he asked for a live elf. I was like, ‘What? How do you want that?’
Can you tell us about the watch you designed for Hublot?
I did one before this that was more basketball inspired, so coming into this one I wanted something that was a little bit more luxury. So I stayed with the color theme – black and red and worked on certain touches.
What touches are you most proud of?
I added the gold, and I love how they were able to incorporate my brand logo on the clock inside, and then my signature in gold. A lot of the little stuff is just so cool. When I went out to Switzerland I got see how the watches are made and I got an appreciation of all the details and hard labor goes into making one watch.
It seems like luxury watches have exploded in the last five years. Were watches big when you arrived in the NBA?
The conversation I have at 33 is different than I was having when I was 21. I can say when I got in the league certain veteran guys were into watches. But when I was coming into the league it was about how much bling you had, and how many diamonds you can put on a watch. It’s not about that now.
So will you go see the new ‘Star Wars’ movie?
Not into Star Wars. No Star Wars in the Wade household. Didn’t really grow up with it.