Dwyane Wade Refers Carelessly to 9/11, Joins LeBron in Heat Hate Pantheon

Update, Vol. 2: Wade has apologized.

Update: This is an MP3 link of the raw audio, thanks to ESPN 760 in West Palm Beach. You can decide for yourself what Wade says. But here's my transcription of that:

⇥"We enjoy the bullseye. Of course, there's gonna be times when we might lose one, two games in row, I mean, two games, three games in a row, you never know. And it's going to seem like the world has crashed down. Y'all gonna make it seem like the World Trade has just went down again. Not gonna be nothing but a couple basketball games lost and we'll have to get back on track. So we're gonna have fun with this season. Understand that this dynamic don't come around too often, and we're a lucky team right now."
It should be noted that that transcription is different from what FanHouse called a "full and accurate" version of the quote. Original post follows.

I'd thought that Dwyane Wade had handled the free agency circus better than any other NBA player. By doing recon for Pat Riley and playing the Bulls like a mandolin, he brought two stars to his team, and retained alpha dog status on that team to boot.

But there's no amount of good will that makes a poorly phrased reference to the attacks of 9/11 something that will pass without scorn. Wade apparently made his ill-fated remark to FanHouse's Tim Povtak about the expectations surrounding the new-look Heat (boldface mine):

⇥"We're going to be wearing a bullseye,'' Wade said. "But that's what you play for. If we lose a couple in a row this season, it will be like the World Trade (Center) is coming down again. When the schedule comes out, people will be looking for the Lakers and Heat, to see when they play us. I feel like I'm a new player in Miami. That's how excited I am.''
In sentiment, of course, Wade's right: Should the Heat struggle, there will be a hue and cry about underperforming. But there are ways to say "Everyone's gunning for us and much is expected of us" that don't involve trivializing one of the most horrific days in American history. Wade, for all of his demonstrated savvy this off-season, clearly didn't find one at that moment. 

On the bright side, it appears Wade's efforts to share LeBron James' load extend to public vitriol. And Knicks fans just got another reason to hate the Heat.

Then again, the quote in the original article has since been edited to read a bit differently.

⇥"We're going to be wearing a bullseye. But that's what you play for," Wade said. "We enjoy the bullseye. Plus, there's going to be times when we lose 2-3 games in a row, and it seems like the world has crashed down. You all are going to make it seem like the World Trade is coming down again, but it's not going to be nothing but a couple basketball games. When the schedule comes out, people will be looking for the Lakers and Heat, to see when they play us. I feel like I'm a new player in Miami. That's how excited I am."
Of course, this being the Internet, there's proof that wasn't the original version, handily screencapped by our Mike Tunison:

FanHouse has also appended this editor's note:

⇥"Editor's Note: Because of a transcription error, an earlier version of this story contained an incorrect quote from Dwyane Wade. The full and accurate version of the quote is contained in this story. We deeply regret the error."
Either way, Wade saying that either that losses or the media's response to those losses seems a bit callous and unthinking to me. And if there's more to the story than FanHouse or Povtak having a bad transcription—as some are already charging—there is still a possibility someone will come out of this looking worse than the person who made a thoroughly inept reference to 9/11.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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