So the NBA is buzzing about Dwyane Wade's remark in yesterday's Miami Herald about Dallas Mav star Dirk Nowitzki not getting it done at crunch-time. Israel Gutierrez quotes the great one thusly:
"At the end of the day, you're remembered for what you did at the end. . . . I think that's the reason -- Dirk says they gave us the championship last year, but he's the reason they lost the championship, because he wasn't the leader that he's supposed to be in the closing moments. That's because of great defense by us, but also he wasn't assertive enough as a leader's supposed to be.''
Probably not the wisest remark, but not because it's not true. Nowitzki is a second-rate superstar at this point and he doesn't have a tenth of the leadership of a Wade. That could change, but it's the cold fact right now. And Dirk was classless and stupid in defeat to Wade last year, so Dwyane has every right to criticize him. The only reason it wasn't smart is that it could give Dirk some motivation -- which is the last thing you want to give a seven-footer with his rather freakish talent.
But then Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made it all better. On his blog, the billionaire, who repeatedly misspelled Wade's first name, did something Nowitzki sometimes has a problem doing when it really counts. He got defensive:
"Say what ? Is this the DWade of some of the lamest , boring commercials known
to man ? Commercials that are singlehandedly responsible for selling more commercial skipping Tivos than anything else on TV ? Dwayne I don't blame you for not looking at tapes of the finals. You obviously didn't. You would have seen your unbelievable skills and some other unbelievable elements that if I could discuss honestly here I would get fined for."
Yeah, he made fun of Wade's commercials. I'm sure it has nothing to do with his being envious that his star player isn't a favorite of the endorsement circuit, mainly because Nowitzki is a morose-looking ogre who speaks chopped-up, Euro-trash English and has the charisma of a giant skink.
"I guess you have earned the right to criticize Dirk with an obvious display of your own leadership skills.
I know Shaq appreciates your leadership as well. He called out your team a few weeks ago saying it was "embarassing'. Great leadership DWade. Your coach sat players for being fat. I guess you couldnt lead them away from the buffet."
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Cuban apparently is under the mistaken impression that Wade is the team's nutritionist. Then he goes for the gullet:
"You are an amazing player Dwayne. I love watching you shoot free throws. What you know about Dirk's leadership skills is non existent. You don't have a clue. Your ability to evaluate leadership skills....well you obviously have an overinflated value of your own. Did you take business classes at Marquette? Now we know why Charles won't put you in his 5."
Once again, Mark is crying about officiating. He knows that Wade's frequent trips to the line have nothing to do with his superior explosiveness that leaves defenders grasping at him like little girls at Justin Timberlake. No, it's clearly a conspiracy by the officiating crew to promote everybody's favorite TV pitchman.
It's a good thing Cuban brought some sense to this debate. And I'm sure Wade has taken the criticism to heart and will try to do better -- especially against the Mavericks.