This year marks the 15th anniversary of “Zo’s Summer Groove,” an annual massive charity weekend held in Miami, started by Alonzo Mourning. Of the incredible number of charity works put on by NBA players and their reps (and no kidding, for every arrest or stupid thing a player says there are about seventeen great charity events put on by players, almost none of which get any attention), Summer Groove stands out not only for the breadth of events and the level of community involvement, but for the sheer amount of cash that’s raised for various organizations both locally and on the national level. In short, it’s a pretty great thing.
For the last several years, Dwyane Wade has co-headlined the event, and his name being plastered on it has made the event even bigger. Both sponsorship money and interest obviously spikes with Wade’s name plastered on the event. It was a smart move by Mourning and the event’s promoters to put Wade as the headliner to cash in on his status as a current All-Star.
But that won’t be happening this year. Wade’s name is off the event and the website simply lists it as “Zo’s Summer Groove” once again. Why? The stupid freaking lockout.
Our own Ira Winderman said in an email that the reason Wade’s name has been taken off is because Mourning is a Heat executive, and during a lockout, players and executives aren’t allowed any contact. Even in a situation like this, which helps thousands of kids and families in need, providing a highlight of young people’s lives, a disagreement between billionaires and millionaires over how many millions should be divied up where and how will be the deciding factor.
Mourning recently told local NBC affiliate in Miami channel 6 that Wade will be involved in the event, he’s just not headlining. Which basically means the promoters will have to make sure Wade and Mourning don’t interact at the same event.
Honestly, this is just ridiculous.It’s not like Mourning’s going to be handing over the strategy of the owners to Wade (or that he’s going to know of said strategy, or that they have a strategy beyond throwing tantrums and saying “No! Give us more money you earn for us!”). And it’s not like Wade’s going to try and subvert anything for either side through conversations. This is one of the best charity events in the country involving an NBA player and it’s getting ruined over a lockout after one of the most successful seasons in NBA history.
We’re lost in the weeds, people, and the cost of this lockout goes well beyond the trips to Vegas the players have had to cancel.