Dwyane Wade Could Face Suspension For Dirty Play

2013 NBA Playoffs
2013 NBA Playoffs
May 24 2013 Miami FL USA Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade 3 shoots over Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson 1 during the second half in game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena The Pacers won 97 93 Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade is a member of the Big Three, but he’s also infamous for being a part of another big three. He wrestled Rajon Rondo into a dislocated elbow in the 2011 semis. In the 2012 All-Star game, he broke Kobe Bryant’s nose. And most recently, introduced Ramon Sessions to his left shin. After these three incidents, he’s earned himself a reputation as a dirty player. Elbowing Lance Stephenson on the head in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals only added to that reputation.

USA TODAY reports that the league is reviewing the play. A person familiar with the league’s review process spoke out on the condition of anonymity, but assured that Wade’s conduct was being looked at closely.

This could spell trouble for a Heat team who has had its hands full against the Pacers. If not for LeBron’s miraculous game-winning layup in Game 1, Indiana would be up 2-0 in the series on their way to their homecourt. If Wade is forced to face a suspension, it will be harder for Miami to try to win back homecourt advantage in Game 3.

The play itself looked pretty deliberate despite Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr’s apologetic announcing. As Wade rushed back to help stop an Indiana fastbreak, Stephenson unexpectedly changed direction, moving toward Wade’s line of movement. Wade then jumped up into Stephenson when a good part of his elbow hits Lance square in the head. Wade has made a career out of expertly sidestepping opponents on the way to the basket, but yet tried to sell the idea he was trying to jump over Stephenson.

Stephenson remained in the game, but the intention to hurt seemed pretty clear, at least on replay. USA TODAY’s Bob Kravitz was especially incensed by the action, calling it a “Jimmy ‘Super Fly’’ Snuka” elbow, and called for a suspension from the league. There’s also the possibility that Wade could be fined, but with the reputation he’s built for himself, a suspension might indeed be likely.

Wade hasn’t been playing up to his talents this postseason—he’s averaging 13.7 PPG―but remains a potent second option for Miami. Against Indiana’s vicegrip defense, Miami’s very efficient offense was only able to put up 93 points in Game 2’s loss. Without Wade for a game or two, the Heat could find themselves relying more on LeBron’s brilliance. But that isn’t necessarily a recipe for success.


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Bogar Alonso
Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles