MIAMI – Dwyane Wade’s pregame routine has sparked a bit of an international incident.
The Miami Heat star has been the subject of some outrage after video showed him taking a few extra warm-up shots as the Canadian national anthem was being performed before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Wade tends to not line up for the pregame anthem ceremony without making his last shot, usually a bank shot from the left wing – even when only “The StarSpangled Banner” is played.
“I’m not a disrespectful person,” Wade said Sunday. “So if anybody thinks I’m being disrespectful to a country, then they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is.” Wade said he’d adjust his pregame ritual for Game 4 of the series Monday night.
The anthem before Miami home games is usually played at the end of the warm-up period. When the Raptors – Canada’s only NBA team – come to Miami, the anthems are played about 12 minutes earlier.
“If people aren’t here, they see video footage of what they want to see,” Wade said.