Dwyane Wade: Man of 1,000 Holds and the Dirtiest Player in the Game
Back in its heyday, World Championship Wrestling (also known as WCW, also known as the company that Vince McMahon ended up purchasing for pennies on the dollar so he could get his hands on their tape library in 2001) had a wrestler by the name of Dean Malenko.
Malenko was a cruiserweight, which is wrestling-speak for "smaller, quicker and far less promoted," and by definition his game was much more centered around aerial maneuvers and actual wrestling technique. "Scientific wrestling," as they called it. So scientific was the diminutive Malenko that he went by the moniker "Man of 1,000 Holds," a gimmick that was satirized and taken to a whole new level by Chris Jericho when he hilariously dubbed himself the "Man of 1,004 Holds" (half of which were "ARMBAR!").
Well, the NBA has its own "Man of 1,000 Holds," and his name is Dwyane Wade.
I pride myself on my ability to take almost any sports or life situation/person/event and translate it into something professional wrestling-related. If I were a superhero, this would be my special power. (Also, I'm really good at finding where people featured on the Jumbotron are actually sitting in the arena within seconds. Yes, I'd be the lamest superhero EVER.)
Along those lines, for me to call the insidious Wade the "dirtiest player in the game" would be weak on my part for two reasons:
1. That would equate Wade with Ric Flair, wrestling's self-professed "dirtiest player in the game," and that would be an incredible slap in the face to arguably the greatest performer in the history of our great sport (channeling Tony Schiavone there for a second).
2. CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel already called Wade the dirtiest player in the game much more eloquently than I ever could in his most recent column, and I refuse to infringe on Doyel's territory:
Dwyane Wade is the bad guy. He's the worst guy in the NBA, when it comes to bad-guy stuff. Dirtiest player in the league? Yeah. That's Dwyane Wade. Look no farther for The Next Bruce Bowen, because he's here and headed to the Hall of Fame. Rare that a player as good as Dwyane Wade would be as devious, as dirty, as Dwyane Wade ... but there we are.
Dwyane Wade is the most devious, the most dirty player in the NBA.
Doyel takes Wade to the woodshed for, among several hundred things, this ridiculously lame attempt to draw a foul in Game 3 on Sunday night:
SIDE BAR: Nice to see Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller get a good chuckle out of Wade's trying to work the "superstar system" into a cheap and undeserved foul call, further proof that we need Jeff Van Gundy on every game once the conference finals start. Van Gundy's head would have exploded if he were the analyst on this game. I don't care if TNT has the Eastern Conference Finals and ESPN has the Western Conference Finals -- share Van Gundy. Fly him in a private jet, and pay him triple. If as a network the best you can do for a color analyst in the conference finals is Reggie Miller, you frankly don't deserve to carry the conference finals. (No, for TNT, not even the exceedingly great Charles Barkley cancels out the steaming pile of announcing turds that is Reggie Miller.)
More Doyel, his description and request for justice from said affront to basketball manhood:
You saw the flop, right? Wade was under the basket, near the baseline, nowhere to go. Well, there was one place to go -- out of bounds. With Pacers big man Ian Mahinmi nearby, Wade threw himself out of bounds. He wanted the call, the foul, the ball. He got none of it.
I want a fine.
The NBA now fines players for flopping, and I want Dwyane Wade fined for that egregious flop on Game 3. I'd like him fined for the two or three flops he does every game, and even Miami Heat fans have to know what I'm talking about. Two or three times a game, Wade rises for a shot and a defender contests the shot, maybe even fouls him across the hand or arm, and Wade falls to pieces like a skeleton suddenly missing a pelvis.
All the bones come tumbling down because somebody touched Dwyane Wade on the forearm.
So instead of my continuing the collective scream for the NBA to bring the hammer down on Wade, I'll use my space here today to outline just a small sample of Wade's extensive arsenal of rule-breaking holds, bumps and general basketball filth. A small slice of the 1,000 holds, and an anthology of sorts where anytime anyone needs a brief reminder of what a flopping, cheap-shotting, injury-inducing, irresponsible asshole Dwyane Wade is, they can quickly use this as a reference guide.
Let's begin, shall we?