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  • >>Male presenter: Thank you, welcome to Google in New York.

  • [applause and cheering]

  • Please welcome Dwyane Wade.

  • [applause and cheering]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: How ya doin'?

  • >>presenter: Have a seat, yeah.

  • [applause]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: How y'all doin'? How y'all doin'?

  • >>voices in audience: Good, good.

  • >>presenter: And welcome to Google.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Thank you.

  • >>presenter: You've never been here before, right?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: No, I've never been here before only been on the website.

  • [laughter]

  • >>presenter: Cool, cool.

  • [laughter]

  • Now we're really, we're really excited to have you here today. There's a lotta big fans.

  • I myself I grew up on South Florida so I was like an original Heat fan, like Rony Seikaly,

  • [cheering]

  • Glen Rice, all that stuff.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: How many people here are from Miami?

  • [cheering]

  • >>people in audience: Yeah, yeah.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Alright represented, we've got a few.

  • [laughter]

  • >>presenter: But so I read, you have a new book out this week and this is part of the

  • Authors@Google series and the memoir is called A Father First and I thought we could talk

  • a little about that today and your experience and some of the stuff you discuss in that

  • book.

  • And I think, like many people in this room, I and a lot of us knew you as the NBA final,

  • the two time NBA champion, the NBA Finals MVP, and the guy who took Marquette the Final

  • Four and all that, but I think --

  • >>Dwyane Wade: I'm still that person.

  • >>presenter: Yeah.

  • [laughter]

  • I think that story which you definitely tell in the book is sort of almost secondary to

  • this other sort of set of tales about you. This kid who grew up in a tough life in a

  • rough part of Chicago and who learned to be, learned he was going to be a father at 19

  • and I think that, that, do you feel like that's true that, that part of that story, the story

  • of the guy who had to learn how to make all these tough decisions very early and learn

  • how to be a father and all that is the primary story of the book?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Well, yeah, I think it would have been easy for me to write a book about

  • basketball but I also think y'all can Google it. [chuckles]

  • [laughter]

  • >>presenter: Nice, nice.

  • [laughter]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: That was so corny.

  • [laughter]

  • I didn't even think about that one it just came to me.

  • [laughter]

  • But no, I felt that if I was gonna go down this path I wanted to write something that

  • I felt was meaningful and I felt that can help others in a sense. So I talked a lot

  • about my childhood, I talked a lot about my upbringin'.

  • And I do a lot of foundation work so I know kind of the same struggle that's goin' on

  • in the inner city, kinda the same way I grew up. So I see kids everyday that's just like

  • I was and goin' through some of the same issues that I went through. So I took this opportunity

  • to kind of express that and talk about it because when kids see me and I come and talk

  • to them they see Dwyane Wade, the two time NBA champion and all these accolades, but

  • I don't think they necessarily understand that I was them and I remember being in that

  • same seat and I remember bein' told that I wasn't gonna be successful and I couldn't

  • do this and I couldn't do that.

  • So I thought I would take this time in this book and kinda share those personal experiences

  • through my life. And also the title of the book is A Father First and it's not necessarily

  • directed to just fathers, I wanted to really express to families that's gonna through the

  • same issues that I went through whether it's a divorce, or whether it's the battle between

  • the custody from the kids, and kinda just share my experiences the negative and a positive

  • of it and hopefully it can help someone look at things in a different way or it can help

  • them in some facets of their life so hopefully I accomplished that. Oh a little basketball's

  • in there, too.

  • >>presenter: Yeah, yeah, definitely.

  • So why did you decide, I mean the book opens with you getting full custody of Zion and

  • Zaire --

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah.

  • >>presenter: and so why did you decide that you wanted to get this out there?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: It just, I really don't know. I've never really thought that I was gonna

  • write a book, I never thought I'd be an author before I always looked at it as hard work,

  • which it is --

  • >>presenter: [laughs]

  • [laughter]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: but I just felt that I go through everything in life for a reason. It's some

  • reason I went through this process for many, many years and still going through it today.

  • And I just know that a lotta guys especially in my league, in the NBA, that come up to

  • me had a lotta questions, gave 'em hope in a sense.

  • Before I got custody, I got appointed to the Fatherhood Initiative from our President himself

  • and to be seen in that field as bein' someone who can speak for fathers in a sense I just

  • thought it was my duty and my job and obligation to kind of share those experiences with others

  • hopefully, like I said hopefully it can help them, hopefully it can give them a different

  • perspective --

  • >>presenter: Um-hum.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: on how to handle somethin' because when I was goin' through this custody

  • battle, it was kinda like shootin' in the dark. You didn't know what was gonna happen

  • and where the ball's gonna end up. So hopefully if anybody's gonna through the process they

  • can kinda see, "Well, you know what this is how D. Wade said he dealt with it, this is

  • what he went through," and they can see this is how hard it's supposed to be, this is as

  • hard as it's gonna be, just so many different things so.

  • >>presenter: Yeah. You describe yourself as an introverted guy in the book but there are

  • some very personal things that you share in there. Were there parts of it that were difficult

  • for you to sort of explain or put out there and share with the world?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah, I mean anytime you're talkin' about your personal life in a sense

  • is always difficult. I've had to live my life under the microscope in a sense and it's very

  • public so a lot of things I didn't want to get out got out and I would love to deal with

  • a lot of things behind closed doors but it's not the hand I was dealt. But I kept a lot

  • out.

  • >>presenter: Um-hum.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: I like to tell people that what you read in here is a little mild version

  • of my life -- [chuckles]

  • >>presenter: [chuckles]

  • [laughter]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: especially the divorce and the custody battle --

  • >>presenter: Yeah.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: it was hectic but, and at the same time it was public so --

  • >>presenter: Um-hum.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: you can go find out that kind of information. I didn't wanna really get

  • too much into it in the book.

  • >>presenter: I mean there's also some very emotional stuff from when you were a kid growin'

  • up and some of the experiences with your family and the relationships that you had with them.

  • Do you think it was easier telling some of the stories especially about your mom and

  • stuff because it was also sort of a lessons learned tale that you were telling?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah, not easy but the lesson learned tale made me really feel comfortable

  • tellin' it, but it's still not easy today. We was on The View the other day, my mom and

  • my sister came, and we had a segment and my mom was talkin', I put my head down in there

  • 'cause I almost lost it, I almost went in tears. And it's kinda sometimes like I'm lookin'

  • at someone else's life when I hear about it or when I think about it it's kind of like

  • that's not my life, that wasn't me. But it was me. So some of those emotions, some of

  • those memories come back in a sense so writin' this book was like my therapy, it was kind

  • of therapeutic --

  • >>presenter: Um-hum.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: in a sense. So it's like bein' in a dark room and talkin' to my writer about

  • my life. And I remember so much, like it started coming back and I remember things like it

  • was yesterday as well so it was very, very therapeutic.

  • >>presenter: Yeah. The subtitle of the book is How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball

  • and that came from something that your mother used to say to you.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah, she's always, she know I loved basketball, she know I wanted to be

  • a basketball player but she didn't want that to be my only dream. But she always told me,

  • "Son, you life," she still tell me this day, "Your life is bigger than basketball, your

  • life is bigger than basketball." I never understood it then 'cause when you're a kid you're like,

  • "No, I'm gonna play basketball." And that's --

  • [laughter]

  • that's what I would do. But I lied I was like, "Yeah, mom I wanna be a doctor --

  • [laughter]

  • is that good?" But I didn't wanna be a doctor.

  • [laughter]

  • >>presenter: [laughs]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: [chuckles]

  • >>presenter: One of the things you talk about in there is with your two sons and your nephew

  • is man time and man talks right

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah.

  • >>presenter: where you have like these serious conversations about important things with

  • them.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah.

  • >>presenter: And how important is that in your relationship with them?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Well it's very important to give them their time together and apart. Like

  • I said I had to learn this stuff too, takin' parenting classes, my kids are in therapy

  • as well, going and sit down with them in therapy sessions and tryin' to learn about them not

  • thinkin' that just because I was a kid once and now I'm an adult, I have all the answers.

  • So I understand that man time for them is very important because they want it every

  • day. "Like I gotta go to a game. You all want man time now?" So they want it all the time

  • but it's good that they like to hang with me that way and it's not always just fun sometimes

  • we sit across from each other, and one day it was rainin' so it was like okay we couldn't

  • go out so I put like a table in my room with chairs all around it, had everybody name on

  • the chair, had questions for everybody written down on note cards that we asked each other.

  • And I was sittin' there and it was like real life questions and I want them to know they

  • can, I'm an open book they can come to me about anything and I want them to feel comfortable

  • about comin' to me about stuff but I also ask them questions, the tough questions and

  • I wanna be able to answer it for 'em. So that's one thing that consists of man time, it consists

  • of obviously doin' fun things.

  • >>presenter: Yeah.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: My kids are they're simple in a sense like my youngest son if I put him

  • in the car on the expressway and drop the top and we rollin', he great, that's amazing.

  • [laughter]

  • He like, "Faster, faster."

  • [laughter]

  • I'm like, "I don't wanna get pulled over but," --

  • >>presenter: [chuckles]

  • [laughter]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: but, so I got to drop the top to make it seem like we goin' real fast and

  • he's like lovin' it. So it's like certain things is just to me when we spend time together

  • and no one else is involved in that moment.

  • >>presenter: Yeah. Are there things that you feel like you haven't been ready to explain

  • to them yet that they've kind of come to you with the man talks?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Not really, I mean, like I said I'm pretty honest with 'em. I think it's

  • things that they not ready to ask me yet.

  • >>presenter: Yeah.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Most anything I don't think they still tryin' to make sure they get as

  • comfortable as possible to be able to open up in a sense. They still a little guarded

  • on certain things. It's tough for them, they goin' through things that I've never been

  • through so I tell my oldest son, "You know what I don't know what you goin' through.

  • I've never been the son of a quote unquote celebrity basketball player and all the stuff

  • that he go through. If I have a bad game he gonna hear about it in school. The kids gonna

  • talk about his dad. So I don't know how to --

  • >>presenter: Yeah.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: When I grew up everybody Dad sucked, it was --

  • [laughter]

  • it was [chuckles]

  • [laughter]

  • it was the way of the world. [chuckles]

  • >>presenter: [chuckles]

  • [laughter]

  • >>Dwyane Wade: and so it's a lot different [chuckles]

  • [laughter]

  • different now. But so it's tough, it's tough man, he deals with a lot of emotions that

  • I've never had to deal with and that I don't really understand and I'm tryin' to teach

  • him how to handle things in a certain way, so.

  • >>presenter: Do you ever worry about that they'll have a strange perspective on the

  • world that's, because, I mean their life is so different than yours was when you were

  • that age and there is a difference between being the son of a famous person. Do you ever

  • worry about that perspective?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah, I worry about it a lot. Everybody so much when you're young and you

  • get older you start thinkin' about your family, you wanna give your family everything you

  • didn't have and so I worry about givin' 'em too much, they might not have the work ethic

  • that they need to be successful. I mean, they not gonna live off my money 'cause I'm gonna

  • retire and live off my money --

  • [laughter]

  • so I think about all these things. It's not necessary, it's not easy and everyone in the

  • world thinks that, "Well, I know it might not be easy but just give me that money and

  • I'll make it work." That big and small, more money, more problem stuff --

  • >>presenter: Um-hum.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: that, it makes it a little harder. I think my parents, I think it was

  • very simple to be my parents. We don't have anything so you don't get anything.

  • [laughter]

  • Sounds simple enough to me.

  • [laughter]

  • [chuckles] And I understood that. But it's tough but, like I said, I'm still learnin'

  • and only thing I can hope is that I always say I'm raisin' future leaders. My son is

  • 10, my oldest son is 10, Zaire, Zion is 5, and my nephew Dahveon who lives with us as

  • well he's turnin' 11 next week, so I'm raisin' these future leaders of the world and I gotta

  • try to do my best job that I can to hopefully raise 'em to be better men than me.

  • >>presenter: Yeah. And Zaire likes to play basketball, right?

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah, it's just sickening.

  • [laughter]

  • >>presenter: So you said in the book that you made this deal with him when he was nine

  • that he could play but he had to play for fun only --

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah.

  • >>presenter: like he had to play because he wanted to be having fun.

  • >>Dwyane Wade: Yeah,.

  • >>presenter: Do you think that that's going, I mean in the book you talk about how you