Dwyane Wade is all in on what NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been doing throughout the early part of the NFL season.
The new Bulls star is all in on any message athletes can convey these days when it comes to anti-violence.
“I don’t really have a pulse on what NBA players are doing when it comes to these things,’’ Wade said on Monday, when asked about protesting during the national anthem. “As I said before, I think it’s great. I’m one of the athletes who stood onstage at the ESPYs and asked athletes to use their voice, a call to action for athletes to stand up. I think it’s great when you see an athlete use his voice for something that he believes in.
“The one thing that I’m thankful for is that I’ve been educated. I think Kaepernick educated a lot of us on things we didn’t know, things we weren’t aware of. I think for me, things in this city that I’ve seen, we have a different kind of battle here in Chicago, a different focus. That’s what my focus is on. My focus is on this city and what am I capable of doing to help our youth in this city in a bigger way. That’s where my focus is. But what [Kaepernick] is doing is great because it’s what he wants to do, it’s what he believes in and he’s using his voice for that cause.’’
Growing up in Chicago, Wade is well-versed in the violence plaguing the city. It really hit home for him recently, however, when his cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was shot and killed in August.
Wade said he planned on initiating some sort of anti-violence campaign for his hometown now that he is wearing a Bulls uniform, but still didn’t have details finalized.
“That’s something that me and my team and family are discussing,’’ Wade said. “As I always say with my foundation, I’m obviously one individual. But there’s always great strength in numbers. We’ll sit down and talk about what’s the next step, what’s the best step and how that looks here in Chicago.
“I haven’t been here as a player since high school, so I don’t know the lay of the land. What my family and I have always done, we’ve just tried to give back. I live by the code, to who much is given, much is required. I’ve been given a lot. It’s required for me to do something to help the next generation. That’s what we always try to do. And so we’ll continue to do that. We’ll just figure out the logistics as we get into more time being here.’’
Even though Derrick Rose has been a New York Knicks problem for months, the Bulls still can’t escape questions about their former point guard.
That didn’t change on media day, as VP of basketball operations, John Paxson, was asked if Rose had started to become a distraction, whether it was his talk of free agency or his off-the-court legal problems he’s currently facing.
“No, no,’’ Paxson said of Rose being a distraction. “Last year was not because of one person, issue. We just didn’t have a collective fight to us. It’s one of the reasons we made changes this offseason.’’
General manager Gar Forman stressed that Rose was traded for basketball reasons only.