Dwyane Wade Comments on Shooting Jumpers During Canadian National Anthem

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMay 8, 2016

MIAMI, FL - MAY 7: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat handles the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2016 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade was seen shooting jump shots prior to Saturday's 95-91 home loss to the Toronto Raptors during the Canadian national anthem and stirred controversy as a result.

Wade explained on Sunday how he didn't mean it as a slight to Canada, saying, per the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds, "If anyone thinks I was being disrespectful, they don't know who Dwyane Wade is."

The 34-year-old veteran added, per the Palm Beach Post's Jason Lieser, "I understand whatever's said about it, but I'm not a disrespectful person."  

Wade had 38 points, eight rebounds and four assists in Game 3's loss, which put the Heat behind in the conference semifinals series 2-1. He will try to help Miami square up with the Raptors in Monday's Game 4.

Reynolds went on to explain how part of Wade's pregame ritual includes making his last shot before lining up for the national anthem. He kept failing to convert that aspect of his routine, which explained the ongoing quest for a bucket before "O Canada."

While the situation may be off-putting for Toronto fans, there's at least a somewhat sound rationalization: Wade's superstitious last-shot requirement.

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But providing fuel for Raptors fans, be it intentional or not, is dangerous since Toronto has home-court advantage in this series.

Wade's individual performance will be an even bigger factor in the forthcoming contests with Heat center Hassan Whiteside listed as day-to-day with a sprained right MCL, per the team.

The Raptors announced Sunday that center Jonas Valanciunas will miss the remainder of the series with a sprained right ankle. What could've been a big disadvantage in the frontcourt for Miami has been neutralized—and it should also make Wade's job of getting to the rim easier.


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