Controversial opinion: if the NBA were the Nation of the Gods and the Earths, Dwyane Wade would be the 10%. If anything, though, these playoffs have served to further the legacy of evil that Wade has propagated around the league.
The basis for this, for me, really started to take root after this play, in the first round series against the Knicks:
There’s something sadistic about what Wade does here, mainly because throwing the shoe actually makes him late getting back on defense. He obstructs Bibby’s ability to play the game at the expense of his own. Also, worth noting, the difference in commentators’ reactions between this and when Ron Artest/MWP did the same thing a couple years ago. Artest “should be called for delay of game”; Wade “did the right thing”.
Wade’s propensity for physical play shows a more transparent part of his physical play. The most recent example being that forearm shiver on Darren Collison that somehow didn’t merit a suspension, but there have been similar plays involving Rip Hamilton, Rajon Rondo, and others just this year.
Even his highlights usually come at someone else’s expense. The beauty of the James/Wade partnership requires making the defender look bad. To Wade, specifically, this is more valuable than the points. Like the Iceland team from Mighty Ducks 2, it’s not just about beating you, it’s about putting you in your place. There’s also this play from the Knicks series, where Iman Shumpert’s knee explodes. Chalmers and Wade continue the play despite the obviously serious injury that’s taken place. It’s not enough that the Knicks just lost a key player. Wade has to turn the knife too.
Many would say Kobe is the league’s ultimate villain, and LeBron certainly hasn’t done himself any favors with “The Decision” and the subsequent fallout. Wade gets a pass because he’s won a title and he hasn’t been involved in any criminal activity off the court. That doesn’t mean anything. Always remember: the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.