Dwyane Wade has always been a class act. He’s always been respectful of the game of basketball, he’s always been respectful of his opponent, and he’s always been a great role model and ambassador for the sport.
None of that, however, was the case Saturday.
Yes, while a girl sang “O Canada” before Miami’s Game 3 tussle with Toronto, Wade, well, Wade casually shot jumpers. He didn’t line up with his teammates and pay respect to the Raptors or our neighbors to the north.
He shot jumpers.
After the game, which Miami lost 95-91, Wade said his pregame ritual requires that he make his last shot before lining up for the national anthem. Wade kept missing, so Wade kept shooting.
Eddie Johnson isn’t buying it.
“Superstitions have been a part of basketball forever and sports in general forever, but I’m not buying that,” the NBA analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “That’s disrespectful. That’s disrespectful. That’s all I can say. I love Dwyane Wade. I think (he’s) a tremendous player. It’s disrespectful. Bottom line. I don’t know how he can look at it any other way.”
NBA rules require players to line up in a dignified and respectful manner during the playing of the national anthem. Wade, who scored 38 points in the loss, did not.
When asked about it after the game, he said, “If anyone thinks I was being disrespectful, they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is.”
Well, a lot of people found it disrespectful.
“First of all, that’s a beautiful song,” Johnson said. “I sing that national anthem just as much as I sing ours. You should be sitting there saluting and respecting their country and wait for it to end so you can just go do what you need to do.”
Johnson doesn’t know if Wade, 34, was trying to send a message to the Raptors or if he was taking a veiled shot at the organization or if it was something else entirely.
“I have no idea,” he said. “I just don’t get it. I just don’t. If you’re going to make that decision to do that, then you really have to be a superstitious individual or you want to send a message. Maybe those fans have been on him up there. I have no idea. But that’s something that Dwyane needs to change. He is a tremendous individual, he’s a great leader and he just can’t continue to do that.”