Much of the focus during Dwyane Wade’s final NBA season has been on his impact as a basketball player, but Budweiser’s tribute ad to the three-time champion spotlighted his incredible impact off the court instead.
The touching ad takes a spin on Wade’s recent tradition of trading jerseys with respected peers following games by having people he helped personally off the court gift him with important items from their lives. It’s a testament to the quiet devotion with which Wade has worked to have a legacy beyond sports.
When the spot begins, Wade is standing at mid-court in Miami mentioning he has “no idea” what’s about to happen. Over the course of it, five different people he’s impacted came out to gift him items from their lives.
Among them are Wade’s mother, who credits his commitment to spending time with her while she was in prison to becoming a better person, and the sister of Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Parkland shootings who was buried in a replica of Wade’s jersey.
“You’re not Wade the basketball player, the legend,” Oliver says. “You’re the human being that took the time and on his own, wrote my brother’s name on his shoe. And you cared.” She then gave Wade a basketball jersey that Joaquin had worn in his final championship game scrawled with the message: “Please don’t forget my brother, Joaquin.”
Wade will go down as one of the greatest players in basketball history, but as his mother in the spot’s final line, “You’re bigger than basketball.” These few minutes certainly slammed that point home.