Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade branches out into acting scene, creates his own sitcom

Because winning championships as a member of the Miami Heat has obviously become too boring for Dwyane Wade, he has decided to attempt a new venture.

Fox recently announced that Wade has sold a sitcom to the network to be called “Three the Hard Way,” starring NBA superstar Daryl Wade, a single father raising two sons.

Wow, that sounds pretty familiar.

The man who nicknamed himself “WOW,” as in World of Wade, and forced reporters to refer to him as “three” after winning his third championship has now based an entire television show after his life.  Why are we surprised?

But just because Wade sold his show doesn’t mean it will be appearing on air anytime soon.  It’s still only in its very beginning stages, and Wade will need to work on a pilot that can impress enough TV bigwigs to get the series picked up on the network.  But it is a good start.

This isn’t Wade’s first experience on the acting scene.  He already has a pretty extensive rap sheet: He appeared in movies “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “Just Wright,” and was also a voice actor in an episode of “The Cleveland Show.”

But he’s never had to take on a starring role onscreen.  And after often leaning on LeBron James for most of his last two title runs, will Wade be able to lead the show all by himself?  

If his skills in the new show come anywhere near his acting skills on the court while trying to get a call from the refs, there’s no doubt the show will be a hit.

New superstars are already on the rise under the names James and Wade

The revolution has begun. Forget about Miami Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, two of the biggest names of basketball’s last decade and established NBA legends. Those guys are old news.

The new wave of superstars is upon us in the form of 11-year-old Zaire Wade and 9-year-old LeBron James Jr.

The elder James recently posted an Instagram video of the third-grade “Prince James” balling his way to 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, a stat line that bears a striking resemblance to one you would see next to his dad’s name. James Sr. noted his son’s Wade-like euro step next to the hashtags #HeGotNext and #StriveForGreatness.

James Jr. may be two years younger, but you can already predict a future rivalry with Wade’s son, fifth-grader Zaire. Judging by this highlight tape, Zaire Wade may already have a better shooting stroke than Dwyane Wade, and he definitely has the confident attitude.

Zaire Wade shows off some ankle-breaking dribble moves and flashy passing skills, and based on his minute and a half video, he takes an early upper hand on James Jr.  However, that two-year age difference is important, and we have a much smaller sample size to compare them. Plus, James Sr. was a later bloomer than Dwyane Wade — the elder James didn’t win his first title until season nine, while Dwyane Wade won his in year three.

One thing is for sure — if these youngsters develop into nearly the players their fathers are, we could have a pretty incredible rivalry on our hands for the next few decades.

In other recent sports pop culture news:

•    Rapper Dr. Dre spoke to the USC football team the night before their game against Stanford before the Trojans gained a huge upset win no one saw coming. The only plausible explanation is that Dr. Dre is the secret weapon for USC. If only Lane Kiffin had learned this earlier.

•    Colts quarterback Andrew Luck took the stage at an Indianapolis MGMT concert last Friday night, manning the critical cowbell instrument, erupting the crowd into a frenzy. It’s always great to see an audience that can appreciate a good cowbell.

•    J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks is contemplating deleting his Twitter account after a recent tweet-battle with Pistons guard Brandon Jennings. In response, the entire Twitter population screams “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

In Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant’s early NBA years, he was considered a quiet, almost shy player, completely contrasting the league’s other brash, outgoing celebrities such as Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. But ever since Nike created its “KD is not nice” ad campaign, soon after his first finals appearance in 2012, Durant has been proving that he is no pushover.

From declaring that he was “done” with finishing second on the cover of Sports Illustrated to calling out ESPN analyst Skip Bayless, Durant has been anything but kind in the past year. He continued the trend earlier this week, when a social media feud broke out between Durant and Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade.

The dispute started when Durant stated in a video interview that his former teammate James Harden should replace Wade on SI’s list of top ten NBA players. Wade instantly shot back with this Instagram post.

Shots. Fired.

Durant answered right back with this short tweet, culminating the online argument.

According to the pulse of the Twitter-sphere, it seems as though Wade’s previous experience “showing” Durant — namely, winning the last two NBA championships, including one over Durant’s Thunder — gives him the edge in this battle. But, truly, with this fight, we are all winners.

Offseason arguments like this one just pour fuel on the fire for the upcoming NBA season.  Again, the Heat and the Thunder will be among the favorites to represent their conference in the Finals, and the bad blood between these two stars would only advance an already-budding rivalry.

So now we can all just sit around and hope Russell Westbrook starts making jokes about LeBron’s hairline, or Serge Ibaka points out the elephant in the room and mentions Chris Bosh’s striking resemblance to a velociraptor.

But, until that happens, all we can do is count the days until the beginning of what proves to be another riveting NBA season.

In what turned out to be only the second (reasonably) close game in this series so far, Game 4 of the NBA Finals became one of revenge for the Miami Heat. After suffering the third worst loss in Finals history (113-77) in Game 3, Miami righted the ship and beat the Spurs soundly Thursday evening, handing them a 109-93 defeat on their home floor in San Antonio.

Right from the opening tip, Miami played with laser-focus, desperation and in very clear attack-mode. They forced a 20 point swing in their favor in the first half. They played suffocating defense. They adjusted their starting lineup. They scored in the paint. And they won.

This contest was a tale of two teams’ Big Threes: the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker combined for 40 points on 14-of-31 shooting, with 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Miami’s LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined for 85 points on 37-of-64 shooting, with 30 rebounds and nine assists. That’s just eight points less than the entire Spurs team scored all night and accounted for 78% of the Heat’s offense.

James’ aggression set the tone in the first quarter and he heated up early, finishing with 33 points on 15-of-25 shooting, 11 rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Center Chris Bosh went for 20 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, two blocked shots and two steals and Ray Allen added 14 points on 50% shooting.

But it was Dwyane Wade who ended up having the real podium game. After 39 minutes of play, his final line boasted 32 points on 14-of-25 shooting, six rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and six steals. After a solid first half, he dominated the second half, taking the ball up the floor, running the offense, drawing defenders and looking for his own shot. This was his first 30 point game since March 4th. He had only eight over the course of the entire season.

For San Antonio, Tony Parker, hobbled somewhat by a strained hamstring, finished with 15 points, nine assists and four rebounds on 7-of-16 shooting. Kawhi Leonard went for 12 points and seven rebounds, and the Texas version of the Splash Brothers (or, Gary Neal and Danny Green) combined for 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting (with 6-of-9 from three point range), seven rebounds and four assists. Tim Duncan was the best player on the floor Thursday night for the Spurs, ending up with 20 points, five rebounds and just one assist..

In the end, Miami’s defense beat the Spurs offense. The Spurs’ rhythm was visibly disrupted. They ran in transition less, passed the ball less and attempted fewer three pointers (in Game 3, they made 16 threes. In Game 4, they attempted that many). They had the ball stolen 13 times and turned the ball over 18 times. Miami turned it over nine times and had the ball stolen just five. The Spurs got to the free throw line 31 times (14 more than Miami), but still couldn’t capitalize, only making 23 shots.

The series, now tied 2-2, will stay in San Antonio for Game 5 at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Top five title contenders heading into the NBA Playoffs

Come this time of the year, only one thing matters: Who will hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June? Well, below are a few possible answers.

1. Miami Heat 

Many believe that the Heat’s success depends on the play of the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James. Others believe that it depends on his two elite sidekicks, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But what will truly define the success of the Heat is the play of its role players: Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen. As the great Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games. But … teamwork wins championships.” Michael Jordan couldn’t have won six rings without Steve Kerr’s big time shots. LeBron James can’t win his second without Ray Allen’s big time shots.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

The key to the Thunder is quite different. The Thunder’s success is largely dependent on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Arguably, Durant and Westbrook are the best 1-2 punch the NBA has to offer. Nevertheless, there is only one obstacle that lies firmly in their path to winning the Larry O'Brien Trophy: Westbrook’s understanding and acknowledgement that Durant is the best player on the team. When Wade acted likewise, James took the Heat to insurmountable heights.

3. San Antonio Spurs

Health, health, health. Unfortunately, the Spurs have very little momentum going for them. Although this is due to the injury bug, their playoff success depends on how well Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili can stay up. Losing Ginobili equates to the loss of one of the best X-Factors in the NBA and the impact of Parker’s loss – does that even need to be described?

4. Indiana Pacers

Do the Pacers remind anyone of the '88-'90 Detroit Pistons teams that manhandled Michael Jordan? The way those teams played resembled street ball much more than professional basketball. The Pacers’ gritty, rough and tough, relentless defense is certainly capable of shutting down even the best offenses in the league. However, whether Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert can stand tall on the offensive side of the court is still in the air. Ultimately, I love the Pacers’ dependence on their reliable defense rather than their occasionally shaky offense in controlling the tempo of the game and winning a seven-game series.  

5. New York Knicks

Equation: 2013 New York Knicks = 2011 Dallas Mavericks. Jason Kidd helping run the point and Tyson Chandler anchoring the defense are two obvious similarities. J.R. Smith and his offensive firepower strikes a remarkable resemblance to Jason Terry. The only question though, is: Can the 2013 Carmelo Anthony lead, inspire and carry like the 2011 Dirk Nowitzki has? If Anthony can embody the electrifying beast that Nowitzki was in 2011, I like the Knicks' chance to make the NBA Finals for the first time in 14 years. 

Nowitzki leads furious comeback, emerging as all-time great competitor

Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki pumps his fist as Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade falls on the floor at the end of the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game Thursday, in Miami. The Mavericks defeated the Heat 95-93. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki pumps his fist as Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade falls on the floor at the end of the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball game Thursday, in Miami. The Mavericks defeated the Heat 95-93. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

When Dwyane Wade sunk that three pointer from the corner of the floor with around seven
minutes to go, I was already preparing to write a post on his greatness. A player with 36 points,
six assists, five rebounds, and seemingly enough monster dunks to fill an entire dorm room full
of posters, deserves all the media credit. But alas, Dwyane Wade, your efforts, as valiant as they
were, were nothing compared to the dramatic conclusion the Mavericks wrote at the end of this
would-be laugher of a game.

I’ve used a lot of words to describe Dirk Nowitzki in my lifetime. Of the ones that can actually
be mentioned for the world to see, the list includes adjectives like soft, cry-baby, flopper, one-
dimensional, choke-artist and boring, just to name a few. Giving him credit for any victory at any
time in his career was sacrilegious for me. In the past, I would have said Miami collapsed rather
than Dallas mounted a true comeback. But after last night I had to take a long hard look at myself
in the mirror to come to grips with the truth — Dirk Nowitzki is a true competitor.

Sure, he still flops like a fish out of water, only plays defense when he wants to, and didn’t quite
show up until the second half of the game yesterday, but you could see how much he wanted,
nay, needed yesterday’s game. The haunting memory of the epic Finals loss four years ago to a
very different looking Heat team is engrained in the back of his mind. He won’t even watch a
single game from that series.

So the fact that Nowitzki ended the game with an elementary left-handed lay-up after a stellar
move to get around Chris Bosh, was the icing on the cake to the Mavs’ 15-point, seven-minute
comeback. He’s a fundamental player with a fundamental problem eluding him from entering
the discussion as one of the game’s best to ever play: he needs a ring. But he is certainly close.
Yesterday he took an underdog Mavericks team by the leash, and helped them cap off a 22-5 run,
including the team’s last nine, over the last seven minutes of the game.

Jason Terry, the Mavericks’ only remaining player from the 2006 Finals debacle, looked at
Nowitzki in the huddle right after Wade’s huge three and told him he didn’t want to go out like
that. He didn’t want to see Miami take this veteran team and dunk over them, celebrate after
every shot, and jam the lead down the Mavericks’ throats. He pleaded for Dirk to help save them,
and the Big German responded, hurt left hand and all.

On paper, his stat line was average: 24 points, 11 rebounds and a block. It was more of a been-
there-done-that type of game for him. But each one of those points, especially the last nine, were
fueled by the notion that he can’t be counted out. That despite all his team's post-season failures,
despite his lack of flair, despite his continual inability to groom himself, Dirk Nowitzki will not
let his team lose without a dogfight. Not again. Not to the Heat.

Miami HeatÂ’s Dwyane Wade goes up for a shot during the second half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday in Dallas. The Heat won 88-86 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

DALLAS — The Miami Heat didn’t blow this one. Now they’re just two wins from being crowned NBA champions.

Chris Bosh made a 16-foot, go-ahead jumper from the baseline with 39.6 seconds left and the Heat held on for an 88-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals.

Recent history says this is a huge win for the Heat. The Game 3 winner in a tied finals has won the championship all 11 times since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985.

Miami got into this tight of a series by blowing a 15-point lead in the last quarter of Game 2. The Heat already had wasted a 14-point lead in this game when they went back ahead 81-75 with 6:31 left. They knew Dirk Nowitzki would drive Dallas’ rally, but he burned them anyway for 12 straight points — six free throws, a layup, a dunk and a tough jumper.

But after Bosh’s clutch shot, Nowitzki’s streak ran out. He tried passing out of a double team and threw the ball away, then hit the back iron on a jumper at the buzzer.

“This is a total win,” said Dwyane Wade, who led Miami with 29 points and 11 rebounds. “You want to win the game on the defensive end of the floor and we got a stop.”

The Heat go into Game 4 on Tuesday night with a chance to do what they did in 2006: win it all on Dallas’ floor. They’ll need to win that game and the next, on Thursday night.
Bosh, a Dallas native who’d been 0-8 in his hometown, overcame a swollen left eyelid caused by a poke during the first quarter to score 18 points. He had seven in the fourth quarter.

LeBron James added 17 points and nine assists. But he also had four turnovers, including a pair during the fourth quarter that helped bring Dallas back. Mario Chalmers added 12.

Udonis Haslem had only six points, but his tough defense on the final two possessions saved the Heat. When Nowitzki’s final shot from the top of the key missed, Haslem swung his arms and screamed in delight.

Nowitzki finished with 34 points, but didn’t get much help. Jason Terry scored 15 and Shawn Marion had 10, but both were shut out in the fourth quarter.

Wade was at his dynamic best from the start, looking like the guy who soared and scored the Heat past Dallas and to the title in ’06.

Most of his baskets came in the paint — where the Heat outscored the Mavs, 40-22 — and many of them were spectacular. But he also stemmed Dallas’ rally by hitting a go-ahead jumper over Jason Kidd for Miami’s second-to-last basket.

James came in talking about being more aggressive, but wasn’t. He went more than six minutes before taking his first shot, but certainly made it worth the wait — a drive through the teeth of the defense for a powerful dunk. He also had a two-handed jam in the second half that put Miami up by 13.

The Heat just couldn’t put the Mavs away. Dallas would surge close or ahead, then Miami would turn it up again. The final 18 minutes played out with both teams realizing any possession could change the game and the series.

Nothing came easy for anyone. Shots were contested, bodies collided for every rebound and guys were flying into the stands after loose balls. Fans stood throughout, wearing their blue gimme T-shirts and fired up by videos such as one featuring encouraging words from Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Nolan Ryan and others.

Yet it was the visitors from Miami who walked off celebrating.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra talked about wanting his guys to get back to their identity of being “an aggressive, attacking team that tries to get into the paint, to the rim, to the free throw line.” They followed that script to a 14-point lead late in the second quarter, then fell into the same bad habits they showed at the end of Game 2, letting Dallas get within 47-42 at the break.

Maybe Miami players just got bored because things were coming so easily.

James and Wade seemed to get whatever shot they wanted, whenever they wanted. But they kept trying to get others involved. They especially force-fed Bosh, even though his left eye was swollen from an early, accidental poke by Jason Kidd; he missed 7-9 in the first half.

The Heat also made things tough on Nowitzki by keeping him from even getting the ball. He took only two shots in the first quarter. He didn’t start getting free until Miami’s lead grew and guys were less intense on defense.