During last night’s tightly contested game between the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami superstar Dwyane Wade kicked Charlotte guard Ramon Sessions in the groin.
It’s unclear what Sessions did – if anything – to provoke the kick, but you can see video of the incident below.
This is the latest in a series of ugly on-court incidents for Wade dating back around two years.
Considered one of the league’s premier talents and playing on one of the most visible teams – the defending champion Heat – Wade has seen his reputation take serious damage.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote today about Wade’s mounting rap sheet, which includes the following incidents:
Wade receives flagrant foul by shoving Boston’s Kevin Garnett after Garnett set a very hard screen on Miami’s Mike Miller.
Later that year, in the playoffs against the Celtics, Wade tripped Boston’s Rajon Rondo – a longtime nemesis – to the ground, dislocating Rondo’s elbow.
At the All-Star Game, Wade delivered a hard foul on Lakers’ star Kobe Bryant, breaking Bryant’s nose in the process. NBA All-Star games are known for their casual style of play, so Wade’s foul raised eyebrows around the league.
Wade uses a forearm to shove Chicago’s Richard Hamilton out of bounds during a regular season game.
Wade throws the shoe of Knicks’ guard Mike Bibby into the crowd during a first-round playoff game. While not a physically harmful play, it certainly seems like a cheap one by Wade.
During a second-round playoff game, Wade slams into Indiana’s Darren Collison after not getting a call on the previous possession. Wade received a flagrant foul on the play.
That’s at least 7 incidents over the last two years documented by Windhorst.
Windhorst writes about how Wade is often reacting, whether to a hard foul, a no-call, or trash talk from an opposing player. Regardless, for a superstar player, NBA champion, and Olympic gold medalist, this is unacceptable behavior.
I can’t help but wonder if Wade’s frustration might stem from something else. Could it be that Wade is growing more frustrated over his role as sidekick on the Heat? With LeBron James playing at a level that has possibly never been seen in the history of the league, could Wade be acting out as a means of venting? Wade certainly didn’t rack up controversial “dirty” plays like this during the earlier part of his career.
Think about it: Dwyane Wade led the Heat to the title in 2006 and is by any measure one of the all-time greats in the NBA history. With LeBron’s “decision” (and to a lesser extent, Chris Bosh’s), Wade cherished the thought of being a part of a mega-power that could rattle off multiple championships.
Let’s also remember that, at the time, LeBron was roundly criticized for his failure in the postseason, while Wade was celebrated for being “clutch” and a “closer.”
Maybe Wade thought that LeBron’s late-season shortcomings would follow him to South Beach, and that while LeBron would put up spectacular numbers, Wade would still be considered the centerpiece of the franchise. Instead, LeBron elevated his game even further, and was a wrecking ball in the 2012 playoffs en route to bringing another title to Miami. James was also named Finals MVP.
Or maybe Wade is just a really dirty player and no one ever really noticed until LeBron and Bosh came to town and put the entire franchise in a fishbowl for all the basketball-watching world to throw stones at.
It just strikes me as odd that a star of Wade’s caliber would all of the sudden transform into a modern-day facsimile of a “Bad Boys” Pistons player.