Dwyane Wade created an international incident by shooting baskets while “O Canada” was being sung before Game 3 of the NBA playoff series between Toronto and Miami.
The Heat’s All-Star guard was executing his usual pregame warmup routine at American Airlines Arena by the beach. He was focused on his shooting form, not on the national anthem of people who aren’t playing for his team or his opponents’.
So while a 12-year-old girl was ably singing the Canadian anthem, Wade was still playing his game of horse solitaire. He launched a variety of shots for about 20 seconds while his teammates stood at attention.
No one can say he didn’t prepare himself well. In the ensuing game he scored 38 points to lead his team to victory. But afterward reporters were more interested in the shots he took before the game began.
“If anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful to their country, then they have no idea who Dwyane Wade is,” he said, presenting a not too humble third-person view of himself.
He had no time for apologies or hurt feelings: “Please do not fill up my timeline with disrespectful comments, because that’s not this guy right here. Find somebody else with that.”
Wade made sure that in Monday’s Game 4, also in Miami, he synchronized his pregame practice with the singing of anthems so there was no overlap. He stood still for “O Canada” as if on guard for thee.
Then he put on another MVP-type performance, scoring 30 points, shooting 13-of-24. The Heat won in overtime to even the series at 2 apiece.
After the game, Wade issued a belated and awkwardly worded apology: “I apologize for Canada thinking I would disrespect them as a country.”
Notice he was apologizing FOR Canada and not TO Canada. He still thinks he insulted nobody.
The series, which will determine who faces Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals, returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday, 8 p.m. Eastern.
You may want to watch the pregame to see how Wade is greeted by 20,000 people who are sensitive about their North American neighbors forever dismissing them as irrelevant.
Also, they don’t like us destroying their precious ozone, and they haven’t entirely gotten over us invading them a couple of times, even though our armies both times were thoroughly repulsed.
CLICK HERE for link to video of Dwyane Wade shooting during “O Canada”