Wade feels heat for quote

JOHN MCMULLEN, Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:57 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- I spent a number of years hosting my own radio show and am lucky enough to do quite a few guest spots around the dial these days, so I realize how easy it can be to say something off the cuff that someone, somewhere is alienated by.

In a society that grows touchier by the day, that kind of thing is just part of the process, and generally I dismiss most of the Sally Sensitives out there as just that.

However, there are a few topics I have been deft enough to avoid at all costs. For instance, I'm proud to say I've never compared the New York Yankees' treatment of Joe Torre to the Nazis like Tim McCarver, and I've yet to break out Sept. 11 in reference to a losing streak.

Dwyane Wade?

Not so much.

When asked Sunday how his new super team in South Beach would react to a losing streak in the upcoming season, Wade handled it like a rookie stepping up to the microphone for the first time.

"You (the reporters assembled) all are going to make it seem like the World Trade has just went down again," Wade said before his annual charity basketball game that he co-hosts with former Heat-teammate Alonzo Mourning.

Later in the day AOL, which first reported the quote, sent a different version of it along with an with an editor's note explaining a transcription error was made and the company "deeply regretted the error."

However, in the second corrected version, Wade still made the insensitive reference, albeit with a bit of a qualifier.

"We're going to be wearing a bull's-eye," Wade reportedly said. "But that's what you play for. We enjoy the bull's-eye. Plus, there's going to be times when we lose two, three 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 of basketball games."

Since D-Wade isn't Don Rickles or Lisa Lampanelli working blue at the Comedy Shack, that's still about as tasteless as it gets these days.

It's not that I think Wade had any bad intentions or actually thinks he and LeBron losing three in a row will really compare to 3,000 innocents losing their lives. The All-Star clearly just stepped the wrong way in the politically correct minefield that is America today.

Wade quickly apologized on Monday but made a second mistake in the process, blaming the messenger.

"In an interview yesterday, I attempted to explain how some people may view the Miami Heat losing a few basketball games in a row during the upcoming season," Wade said in a statement. "It appears that my reference to the World Trade Center has been either inaccurately reported or taken completely out of context.

"I was simply trying to say that losing a few basketball games should not be compared to a real catastrophe. While it was certainly not my intention, I sincerely apologize to anyone who found my reference to the World Trade Center to be insensitive or offensive."

It's still July and we are over three months away from basketball games counting again, but it would have been nice to see Wade step up like a leader, accept full responsibility and learn something very valuable from his little faux pas.

The Heat, not the Lakers or Celtics, are now at the center of the basketball universe and everything he, James, Chris Bosh and their teammates do will now be put under a very powerful microscope.

Distractions like this during the season are exactly the types of things that could lead to the losing streaks Wade so inartfully described.


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