Party donors and operatives are trying to recruit NBA legends Grant Hill and Dwyane Wade to run against Scott in 2024, according to a report from NBC News. Hill starred for the Orlando Magic in the 2000s, and Wade spent nearly all of his playing career with the Miami Heat, including 3 Championship runs with the team. Wade left the state after he retired, but claimed in April that his family “wouldn’t feel welcome” in his former home state due to increasingly anti-LBGT policies.
“Grant Hill has great name ID. He would raise a boatload of money and is one of the smartest guys you will ever meet,” attorney John Morgan told NBC News. Morgan is a national Democratic donor and a business partner of Hill’s who has reportedly talked directly with him about a potential run. “Grant Hill would beat the s*** out of Rick Scott,” he said.
Morgan said he brought up the prospect with two other Democratic activists at a dinner on Sunday. “I’m not sure it’s his time, but he would be great,” he said. “He’s competitive. I think he sees LeBron James as a billionaire and Magic Johnson almost a billionaire, and it gets his competitive juices flowing. I am not sure he is done with business.”
Hill is an NBA Hall of Fame guard/forward who played for the Orlando Magic from 2000-2007, and still lives in the Orlando area. He is a part-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, and an analyst for CBS and their affiliates. He is also a successful real estate developer, and has several lucrative endorsement deals. Hill has also been active in politics, supporting John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.
Democratic donors are also talking about recruiting Wade, who played 13 seasons with the Miami Heat and won championships in 2006, 2012, and 2013. Besides being a legend in Florida Sports, Wade is also an advocate for transgenderism. In 2020, Wade declared that his preteen son, Zion, had come out as a transgender girl named Zaya. Wade called the child a “leader” in the LGBT community, and said he and his wife are proud LGBT “allies.”
But Wade, who left the state after he retired from the NBA, said in April that recent legislation would make a potential return uncomfortable. He specifically pointed to Florida HB 1557, the Parental Rights in Education Bill, which prohibited schools from talking about gender and sexuality from grades K-3. The bill has been mischaracterized by the Left as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.”
“That’s another reason why I don’t live in that state,” Wade told sports journalist Rachel Nichols. “A lot of people don’t know that. I have to make decisions for my family, not just personal, individual decisions. I mean, obviously, the tax [situation] is great. Having Wade County is great. But my family would not be accepted or feel comfortable there. And so that’s one of the reasons why I don’t live there.”
“Dwyane Wade is a Florida legend, whose leadership past and present has a lot of folks in our state sending feelers out,” Ray Paultre, the executive director of the progressive donor coalition Florida Alliance, told NBC News. “We have seen former athletes, in both parties, bring something special to the political landscape. He hasn’t been officially approached, but he is on the list of four or five dream candidates to challenge Rick Scott.”
Scott narrowly defeated Democrat Bill Nelson in 2018, 50.1%-49.9%. But the state has shifted rightward since then; Scott’s Republican colleague, Marco Rubio, won his race last year by a massive margin 57%-41%, and Governor Ron DeSantis won re-election by an even larger margin, 59%-40%.