Blog Entry

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:41 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:42 pm
By Matt Moore

Dwyane Wade spent the week shilling for an on-court traction product. It was very Bruce-Banner-y. He did a wide range of interviews for the product, talked about the Heat, flashed that Wade smile, did the whole publicity tour. Wade had been quiet for months regarding the lockout. He hadn't appeared at any of the Pro-Ams. He hadn't been a presence at the meetings. He hadn't been aggressively supporting the union in front of or away from the cameras. In short, some were beginning to wonder where Wade was in this whole lockout landscape, the silent superstar in a league full of big moneymakers who seemed to be just looking out for themselves and enjoying their summer. Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul (who serves on the union's executive committee) and Kevin Garnett seemed to be the only leaders from the star contingent. 

Then Friday came.

And Dwyane Wade took a flamethrower to the whole damn place.

It started early when Wade gave an interview to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, and discussed, essentially, being an underpaid superstar. Wade's understanding of the earning power of superstars in the NBA wasn't off factually, even if the timing was questionable.  It was a high-impact interview with a high-impact reporter that set the tone for the day. And Wade was only getting started. 

Next up, he drops comments across the board regarding the fact that the players "may lose a season." It was an odd and seemingly out of place set of comments considering the importance of getting a deal this weekend. Wade was essentially taking a hard-line position of saying "We want to play, but don't think we're not willing to lose the year just to get a deal." This from a player who notoriously is careful to avoid controversy. He's taken on a lot of flak this year as a member of the Heat from the backlash from "The Decision" and the formation of the Triad on South Beach, but Wade has always been popular with reporters for providing sound bytes without ever getting in trouble. He rarely if ever comes under scrutiny for his comments, and here he is being up front about the realities of the talks after saying that he's not getting paid what he could. 

Then there was the meeting.

Ken Berger of confirmed that at one point Wade stood up to David Stern's aggressive speech to the players. ESPN reported a direct quote from Wade:
Source: David Stern pointed his finger at players while talking. Wade shouted, "You're not pointing your finger at me. I'm not your child."
via Twitter / @RicBucher: Source: David Stern pointe ....

What the...?

Where's the baby-kissing, hand-shaking, lovable Dwyane Wade we've come to know? Where's the meek and mild player that no one was loooking to for leadership? Apparently all it took was Kobe Bryant having prior commitments with Nike in Europe to bring the Warrior Wade to the front... with a blowtorch.

Consider this, from earlier this week on the New York TimesNBA blog Off the Dribble:  
Wade said he has been in regular contact with Billy Hunter, the executive director of the players union, about the state of negotiations. But he said he felt no need to join the meetings himself, and he shrugged off the criticism directed at superstar players for their lack of involvement.

“That’s a silly thought,” Wade said. “I’ve been in a few meetings — I’ve been in three or four meetings myself.”

But none of the league’s top players have been a regular presence since the lockout began July 1, with the exception of Chris Paul, who serves on the union’s executive board. It has been suggested that a greater presence by the game’s superstars could push the N.B.A. toward a deal. Wade disagreed.

“The negotiation is the negotiation,” he said, adding: “We’ve been in there. Not only have they said their shpiel, we’ve said our shpiel, we’ve listened. We’ve taken notes. We’ve done all this. And we believe in our players association.”
via Negotiations Don't Need a Star Presence, Wade Says -

In two days, we've gone from Wade saying there's no reason for the superstars to be more active, to Wade himself aiming at the commissioner of the NBA to get his finger out of their face. Something happened, and it's likely not a coincidence that Wade suddenly came off the leash. The Players' Union needed someone with a big name and a face to come out guns blazing, to pull a Jordan '99 and Wade was the man to step up. For all the flak the Heat have taken, Wade is as respected as they come, and his foot forward spoke volumes. 

The players needed someone to go rogue and play bad cop.

Dwyane Wade pulled out the billy club on the start of the most serious negotiations in the entire process and started swinging from sun up to sun down. We'll have to see if this galvanizes the union to stick together, or if this came off as empty rhetoric from a player not representative of the league's primarily roleplayer whole.

Finally, consider this report from a Miami-based reporter who spoke with a player to gauge reaction to Wade's outburst Friday.  
Just spoke to an NBA player not in today's meeting. Said "400 guys in our league have a new favorite player tonight, and it's Mr. D-Wade."
via Twitter / @ByTimReynolds: Just spoke to an NBA playe ....

To quote a popular song for NBA players, "Say hello to the bad guy."

Since: Jan 5, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:25 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

If Wade thinks he is under paid, then he should have got the best deal he could have.  He chose to stay in Miami and be part of the new big three.  He could have walked and got as much money as he wanted, but did not.  He has nobody to blame but himself.... so stop crying!

Since: May 14, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2011 10:43 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

No doubt Mr. Wade is underpaid as an NBA superstar. However, last i checked, there are up to 15 players on a team and the topic today is the union and the lockout. Wade undoubtedly knows that he is a star but he fails to think of the other "regular" union members.

The correct way for me is that players should get paid a nice somewhat large salary to play "a game."  I'm talking about $2m for stars and $500k for regular guys.  The owners on the other hand should lower down ticket prices considerable (maybe by 60%, at least) and also be the ones to build the arenas (instead of city taxpayers).

There should also be a sustainable salary cap system in place where the owners, players, team employees, arena employees and the city fans benefit from the growth or in some years, the decline.

This will create a sustainable league where i can imagine that there maybe 50 teams instead of using words like contraction.

I know the players will raise hell with my suggestions, but they would only make a fraction of my suggested salary if they worked regular jobs...    &nbs

Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2011 10:43 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

Dwayne Wade was an NCAA partial qualifier at Marquette. In other words, the dumber of the dummies. What qualifications does this dude have within 500 miles of a negotiation table? Hire the lawyers, let them do the talking, keep these kids away from the big boy club.

Since: Oct 11, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2011 7:49 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

I'm not all that impressed by Wade's outburst. The players, esp the superstars, should have been standing up to Stern in this manner years ago. Problem was when you're making $15-20+ milllion/yr what is there to complain about. Maybe if they had stood up sooner the NBA wouldn't be in a lockout currently, on the brink of losing an entire preseason and possibly parts of the regular season. Stern is an arrogant bully who hides behind his office. He believes that all he has to do is proclaim it and the players will take it as law. If I had to guess I would say less than 10% of the players have any amount of respect for him at all. His approval rating is probably lower than that. The NBA was sitting pretty esp after the ratings giant that was the NBA Finals, but if there is a lengthy lockout it may take years to repair the image. Just ask baseball. It took until the McGwire/Sosa HR battle in 1998 before baseball began to recover from its devastating strike in 1994.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2011 5:19 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

What facts do you have about him cheating on his wife Gustafson? Thats a white name right?? The guy simply said dont point your finger at them like they are kids?? Big deal.
IF he could get paid more in the NBA then why not fight for it. If you were at your job and refuse to fight for your right to earn more money then what would you be??? A moron, thats what...

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2011 4:09 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

I thoroughly enjoy my sports.  My wife and kids think I am a nut due to the way I watch sports...let's just say I have been known to get a tad animated.  Having said that, if the NBA were to lose an entire season due to millionaires and billionaires getting greedy, I wouldn't care in the slightest.  In fact, I can see a lot of good coming from an entire NBA season being missed.  Sometimes a healthy dose of reality is exactly what is needed.  In a time when the rest of the country is struggling, the NBA (players and owners alike) needs to be very careful about perception.  As of now, both sides are looking extremely bad.  Just when the NBA was gaining popularity again, it is about to shoot itself in its collective foot.  Not smart NBA...not smart at all!  Keep it up and you'll all find yourselves in a far worse financial position.  Maybe owners and players out to try living on 5 figures for a while.  Then re-assess their priorities at the bargaining table.  Or simply stay the course of greed and end up with far less because the fans will be gone after too much of this nonsense.  So yes, keep it up NBA.  Reality is not as far from from your doorstep as you might think.  People can get along just fine without you.

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2011 3:54 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

Dwayne Wade hase become the second most unlikeable player in the NBA. His EGO is HUGE. Don't get me wrong David Stern is the most unlikeable person on the planet and has a bigger ego than anybody. I just don't know why players have to run there mouth. Just let the agents and lawyers handle it. All you do is look like an overpaid unrelatable player when you complain about being underpaid. The entire NBA has been really overpaid and the product on the court get worse and worse.

Since: Oct 11, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2011 2:07 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

This is not going to end well for the NBA or their superstars if they don't work something out soon.  The average fan is hurting real bad economically and while they don't necessarily see eye to eye with billionarie owners, most are capitalistic enough to understand that the owners are putting up the capital and if more than half of the teams are losing money then there is something wrong.   NBA players make more than most other players in professional sports, have longer careers and have more opportunities to generate revenue outside the game.

These guys need to real careful or their bloated salaries and endorsements will come to a screetching halt when the average person says enough with the greed and pre Madonna act.  I understand negotiations but in this instance I think most would side with the owners given the losses of many teams and given how much these guys make and how they are perceived by those that actually buy their products and the NBA in general.  

This could get ugly for the league at a time they were poised to take off and grow!  Silly, silly people... 

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2011 1:29 pm

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

Dwyane Wade pulled out the billy club on the start of the most serious negotiations in the entire process and started swinging from sun up to sun down.

Wasn't the sun still shining when he made his exit in the idling SUV?

(Unable to further comprehend the proceedings, but mostly unwilling to expose his inability to comprehend the proceedings).

Far-Fetched Hyperbole Matt Moore.

Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: October 1, 2011 2:06 am

NBA Lockout: Wade becomes the man on fire

Wade is respected , was he coughing will he was talking ? Lol Wade has shown the public he is a dirtball , from cheating on his wife , to being a dirty player ( pulling down rondo to clearly hurt him) to pretending he was sick to make fun of another player ... I still get though Wade and Lebron where just upset because a tall goofy looking white guy was beating the brothrs butts up and down the court Lol

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