NBA Coast to Coast: Dwyane Wade seeks better protection for players

NBA Coast to Coast: Dwyane Wade seeks better protection for players
Heat guard Dwyane Wade brings the ball up the court against the Pacers during a game Friday night in Miami. (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, fined $15,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture toward heckling fans, has asked the NBA to further improve how it protects players from the most unruly of fans.

Wade made the request during the league's brief investigation of his incident with the crowd in Charlotte on Wednesday night.


"The NBA is an unbelievable league, and I'm one of the first ones to be doing NBA Cares and all these things in the community, but they need to protect us a little more," Wade told the Associated Press. "They need to do a better job of protecting players in the arena. It's open game on us. We're big boys, we can take it, but everyone has their breaking point."

The fine was the first time the 12-year veteran has been punished by the league for gesturing at or interacting negatively with fans.

The incident occurred after the third quarter of Miami's loss to the Hornets. Wade said a number of fans were saying things about his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, and that the comments got progressively worse as the night went along. He lost his cool, approaching the group with the middle finger raised on one of his hands.

The next day, Wade said his children took away his phones and his TV rights. "House rules," Wade said, "for disrespecting the family name."

Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said players and coaches hear plenty of negativity from the crowd.

"Players are humans and some of the things that fans say does cross the line," Spoelstra said. "It doesn't give you the right to snap back at them with some kind of response but it's usually at an emotional time. … A handful of times a year you hear it and you see it where they've crossed the line and what it requires is you being the better person and not responding."

Wade said he's reacted in the past with words, just not gestures. He also said that he's told the league about other concerns regarding fans, particularly when situations where ticketholders have seats immediately next to a team's bench, a scenario that Wade said he finds uncomfortable.

He also knows that regardless of what the NBA and arena security personnel do, the issue of fans potentially going too far will never be nonexistent.

"You can talk about me all day," Wade said. "I really don't care what you say about me because I know at the end of the day when I walk off that court most of those guys would see me in the back hallway and want to shake my hand. When it gets too personal about your family, that's too far. But it's not going to stop."

--Associated Press


Words will never hurt me

Golden State's Draymond Green just couldn't help himself. Before last weekend's Warriors-Rockets game, Houston guard James Harden was heard in his team's huddle saying, "They ain't even that good," referring to the Warriors, who won that game by 25 points. In the rematch four days later, the Warriors beat the Rockets by 13 points, to sweep the season series, 4-0. Green winked during his postgame remarks regarding Harden's comments. "We're not that good," Green said. "You saw it, you don't get Twitter? You got Instagram? So I'm sure you saw it, right? We're not that good."

Feeling it


Since being traded from Cleveland to Oklahoma City, guard Dion Waiters has been much happier. It's all because he gets to shoot the ball more with the Thunder than he did with the Cavaliers. "Listen, they give me the ball," Waiters, chuckling, said about playing for Oklahoma City. "Like, I touch the ball. Like, I actually, like, you know, touch the ball."


Leadership 101

Now that he plays for Cleveland, guard J.R. Smith described the different leadership styles of current Cavaliers teammate LeBron James and that of his former New York Knicks teammate, Carmelo Anthony. "Melo is more of an, 'I'll show you,' as opposed to Bron is more of an, 'I'll tell you, then I'll show you.'"

--Broderick Turner


Toronto at Washington

When: Saturday, 4 p.m. PST.

They are two of the top young teams in the Eastern Conference, trying to maintain their status as contenders for the title. Entering the weekend, Washington had the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and Toronto was in the third spot. In the first game this season between the teams on Nov. 7, the Raptors won by 19 points. The two backcourts – Washington's All-Star point guard John Wall and Bradley Beal and Toronto's All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan -- are what makes these teams go.

--Broderick Turner