LI-NING Company founder Mr. Li Ning (right) and Dwyane Wade (left) appear at an October 10, 2012 press conference in Beijing to announce their new partnership. (Photo credit: Bob Metelus/LI-NING).
With the Miami Heat in Beijing for the NBA China Games Tour, superstar Dwyane Wade took some time Wednesday morning to make news: a contract with Chinese sportswear provider Li-Ning to create his own brand -- "Wade."
"It was a great nine years, but for me, it was just time to move on," Wade said. "I have certain goals that I want to reach and I felt that I had to leave to reach those. So I’m doing things a little differently. That’s how I am, in a sense. I’m not necessarily a status-quo type guy."
Wade spent his first six seasons in Converse apparel, then the last three wearing Jordan Brand. His debut in Li-Ning is expected Thursday, when the Heat play a preseason game in Beijing against the Los Angeles Clippers.
But it won't be a case of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. The shoe isn't expected to launch in the United States until 2013.
"What you see in China will not be the final product," he said.
Wade also hopes to play Sunday when the Heat and Clippers meet again in Shanghai.