Monday, April 17, 2006

Dwyane Wade: The Gambler

You never count your money
while you're sitting at the table
there'll be time enough for counting
when the dealing's done

-Kenny Rogers, "The Gambler"

One of the most interesting subtexts of this NBA season is the undercurrent of Dwyane Wade hating, coming from both aesthetes and partisan Gilbertophiles. I don't think I had a good handle on exactly where the reservoir of resenment comes from. At least not until I read the above linked Free Darko piece and the companion article.

The thesis is simple - Wade's game is so in-your-face, yet his demeanor does not match. There is no visible chip on his shoulder. There is very little shimmying, riding of motorcycles, finger waving, or roof-lowering (my personal favorite) involved. "Dude, you're freakin awesome. Live it up a little," they seem to say.

Indeed, they take it as an affront to the indviduality and stylishness that is the modern NBA that Wade does not engage in such on court bravura.

Me? I disagree. Just as I love Allen Iverson for playing hard all the time and refusing to 'soften' himself into corporate whoredom, so too I love Wade for playing hard all the time and declining to try and act 'hard' to earn 'street cred'.

As for the lack of histrionics, I think the quote I led with exemplifies D-Wade's attitude perfectly. He gets just as excited as anybody else when he makes a truly game changing play, (see his Cassel-like "Huge Marbles" strut after hitting the game winner against Detroit a few months back) but until that time, he's busy D-ing up rather than counting his chips.


Ahistoricality said...

I don't watch basketball, but in general terms, I'd have to agree: I always thought it was more effective just to be aggressive than to act aggressive. No reason to give anyone reason to hate you, while you're beating the crap out of them.... It's unprofessional.

Mr Furious said...

I don't care a bit about the NBA, but Dwayne Wade carried my fantasy college hoops team his freshman year as an undrafted free agent, and I will always love him for that.