Dwyane Wade: Half-Hearted Apology to Kobe Sets Up Epic Showdown for Sunday

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference posts up against Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat and and the Eastern Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Leave it to Kobe Bryant to use the All-Star Game as motivation.

In the third quarter of Sunday’s All-Star Game, Dwyane Wade fouled Kobe as he went to the rim. It appeared that Wade was trying to wrap him in a bear hug before Bryant jumped, but he ended up drilling him right in the nose. TNT commentator Steve Kerr joked that it was the first flagrant foul in All-Star Game history.

On Tuesday, D-Wade called the incident “unfortunate,” but quickly reminded us that Kobe fouled him on two separate occasions: "I obviously didn’t try to draw no blood, but I took a foul. Kobe fouled me two times in a row, so he’s still got one up on me."

I’m pretty sure Kobe didn’t break your nose, Dwyane.

Bryant has yet to speak about the incident and is questionable for Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Mark Medina of the LA Times.

It was still the goof-around phase of the game, and that play certainly broke the mold. Kobe shook it off, but the news came out postgame that he'd broken his nose. It was the play Wade would make if it were a regular-season game, but certainly not a game meant for lobs, dunks and centers taking three-pointers.

There is an unwritten code among athletes in these All-Star games, and Wade broke it.

Well, thanks to the scheduling gods, Bryant will have his chance at redemption this Sunday, when the Heat come for a visit to the Staple Center.

Obviously, Kobe isn’t going to intentionally hurt him, but Wade better watch out that an enforcer like Metta World Peace or Matt Barnes doesn’t get a good lick on him. Then again, knowing the incredible competitiveness of Kobe, he’ll probably handle it himself.

What can he do to even the score without looking like a headhunter? That’s the million-dollar question.

Weak apology or not, I’m sure it didn’t matter to Kobe. Once his nose was broken, he was going to get revenge regardless. Now, the only question is how the alpha dog of the NBA gets it.

This Sunday just got a heck of a lot more interesting…


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