Is Dwyane Wade the Biggest Villain in the NBA? Grantland Thinks So

Categories: Sports

There's no denying that three years ago, LeBron James was the biggest villain in sports. Hell, Heat fans themselves were treated as rouges just for daring to root for him. But after two back-to-back championships, LeBron's public image has recovered. Of course, the sports media always needs a villain, and Grantland's Andrew Sharp has given that dubious distinction this season to Dwyane Wade.

"There are millions of basketball fans in America who still hate LeBron James more than any athlete in sports, but when you look at why they hate LeBron, the guy they really hate is Dwyane Wade," he writes. "The one who's overrated, whiny, and flops constantly. Cocky when he's good, petulant when he's not, always in need of a good ego massage. He gives himself nicknames, he dresses like an asshole. Hollywood as hell. That's Wade, not LeBron.

"He's the villain. The best villain we have in the NBA," he continues. "Dwight Howard may drive people crazy, but he's really more of a punch line. Wade? He's just successful enough so that we have to respect him, and that makes him twice as unbearable."

Of course, Wade is the guy who stayed with the team that drafted him. The guy who looked around the league, decided he probably couldn't become the next Michael Jordan, but knew he could be at least a better Scottie Pippen than Scottie Pippen ever was. The guy who stood back and handed over the "face of the franchise" status he could have held onto for another decade.

But in Sharp's view, Wade has tried to make himself a martyr for doing just that.

"There are plenty of reasons Wade is ridiculous and unbearable -- the cheap shots, the whining, the flopping, extra-small capris and extra-large pocket squares -- but the biggest reason comes back to the two issues above," he writes. "Not only is he depressing to watch next to LeBron every night, but then the games end and he wants credit for a sacrifice that was fundamentally made out of self-interest."

(Side note: Can we please stop harping on Wade's wardrobe?)

However, Sharp then goes on to praise him. He says that Wade has "maxed out his talent better than maybe any superstar we've seen in the last 20 years" and that his tendency to come up big when it matters will guarantee the Heat another championship this year.

"That's the thing about great villains. You hate them, but you never stop fearing them."

Though, we're not really buying that line.

In our mind, there are two versions of the sports villain:

1. The guy whose off-the-court antics, ego, and/or temperament prevent the game from being played on its highest level. (Objective.)

2. The guy on the team you happen to hate. (Subjective.)

Guys who fit the first criteria will always be the bigger villains.

Dwight Howard is a punching bag, but there's serious frustration among basketball fans that he's a guy who could deliver on his talent so much more but lets his ego and childish decisions get in the way.

But in Sharp's view, Wade is the bigger baddie because he did the exact opposite and occasionally gives answers to the same handful of questions about playing alongside LeBron that seem to hint at martyrdom. Also, he sometimes wears pink.

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Alex Anico
Alex Anico

He's the coolest...but villian? i dont think so but if you want to go there, looks like someone needs another lesson...for the fourth time...


The article was a perfect depiction on how overrated, whiny, lazy, and self absorbed Wade is. Wade loves to stuff stats against teams like the bobcats in the weak east but when it gets real in the playoffs Wade is all of a sudden hurt or injured. Wade only shows up for a few games out of a series and thinks he deserves a pat on the back for it. I really wish Erik Spoelstra had the balls to bring Wade off the bench like San Antonio does with Ginobili because the Heat look so much better when Wade isn't on the floor taking the ball out of Lebron's hands and Bosh is able to do more too. Wade should be thanking Lebron for his last two rings and quit complaining.


Sure, hate the guy who stands as a role model for fatherhood... hate the guy who brought Gold medals for his country... hate the guy for choosing to dress the way he wants on HIS body... hate the guy who sacraficed for the better of the team... hate the guy who sponsors a sucessful foundation (anyone in this disussion donating millions to charity??)... hate the guy for being a smart business man and exploring creative ways to market his brand across the globe... hate the guy for getting destroyed by competitors (he has real injuries to prove it) but still gets up over and over again... hate on the guy just cause you got nothing better to do but hate on people being successful...

Andre Armando
Andre Armando

"overrated, whiny, and flops constantly... he dresses like an asshole" Overrated? Hardly. All players complain to the refs, even Duncan! So he's a villain cause of his wardrobe? Lol@the whiny haters. HEAT!


Wade is washed up. Only good at front running against teams with bad defenders on him.


@BallSoHard I really don't understand how someone of your caliber, someone who, admittedly, "balls so hard" has the time to teach us lowlifes things we'll probably never grasp in the first place. Your efforts dont go unnoticed. However, I could be reading your handle wrong. Perhaps you have an acute testicular condition. If so, get better soon.

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