During last nights game 2 against the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat superstar Dwayne Wade shoulder tackled Pacers guard Darren Collison at the 9:27 mark of the fourth quarter. Wade was called for a flagrant 1 foul on the play.
According to league sources, the NBA will not suspend or fine Dwayne Wade for the foul.
Why won’t the league suspend Wade? The hit certainly deserved such a punishment.
Dwayne made no attempt at going for the ball. On the previous play down the floor for Miami, Wade was visibly upset after not getting a foul call to go his way. This tackle was not only a “frustration foul”, but it was also a metaphorical shot at the referees. He gave the refs something to call, that’s for sure.
It was a dirty hit. Wade buried his shoulder into the back of Collison. It wasn’t a basketball play.
This sequence closely resembles one from a couple of months ago during a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets. Hornets forward Jason Smith knocked Clippers starter Blake Griffin hard to the ground as Blake got ready to dunk the ball.
Smith was suspended 2 games for the hit.
In my opinion as a sports writer and a human being with 2 working eyes, there is little to no difference between what Wade did and what Smith did.
So why is Dwayne Wade not getting the same kind of punishment that Smith received?
The Miami Heat are currently in a lot of trouble with the loss of Chris Bosh for their series with the Indiana Pacers. If the team were to lose Wade for 1-2 games as well, Miami would be dead in the waters of South Beach.
The NBA needs the Heat to stick around in these playoffs. The Heat equal ratings and revenue for the league. Whether we all love them or hate them, it can’t be denied that we all want to see them play basketball.
Losing Chris Bosh was bad enough, but losing Dwayne Wade would more than likely seal the fate of the Miami Heat. Commissioner David Stern and the rest of the higher-ups don’t want that.
Why else wouldn’t they suspend Dwayne for that foul? If he wasn’t such an important piece to one of the more important teams in the NBA, he surely would have been suspended.
If Joel Anthony delivered that shot, he would have been gone in a heartbeat. I know its true. You know its true.
I don’t buy into the reasoning that the refs and league officials are trying to preserve the quality of the 2012 NBA playoffs by being more lenient with the rules to give fans the best quality of basketball they can.
Aren’t rules supposed to be enforced? Are we just going to allow players to mow each other down without any repercussions?
If this weren’t a playoff game with so much at stake, Wade would have more than likely felt some wrath for his hit. Fortunately for him, Collison got up right after the tackle and showed no signs of injury. The Pacers also won the game by 3 points, making the flagrant foul call and free throws given afterwards all the more important.
That’s all fine and dandy, but that shouldn’t let Dwayne Wade off the hook for what he did.
A suspension was/is necessary.
Call it favoritism or bias or a horrible conspiracy, but to this writer…
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports