FanDuel - WFBC

June 10, 2011

Dwyane Wade: My Life as a Single Dad: Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade has written a commentary for Newsweek about his life as a single dad after being granted full custody of his two sons. "Not too long ago, due to custody issues, I wasn't allowed to see my sons for long periods of time, or was given the chance to see them for only a few hours with no idea of if or when Id see them again," he writes. "[S]ince my sons came to live with me about two months ago, every day has been like Father's Day."

posted by rcade to basketball at 02:46 PM - 31 comments

Good for him. I hope after the initial honeymoon period, he still feels like every day is Father's day.

posted by bperk at 05:00 PM on June 10

I just hope he teaches his kids some humility.

posted by Atheist at 05:27 PM on June 10

I'm rootin' hard for the Heat to get beat, but D-Wade strikes me as one of the very few upper-echelon NBA players whose kids I'd want hanging around with my kids.

(Of course, my kids are imaginary.)

posted by outonleave at 09:15 PM on June 10

I just hope he teaches his kids some humility

The more accolades Wade gets the more he is digressing into a self serving diva. It would appear that humility is not a trait he values in any way.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:12 PM on June 10

When did Wade get this reputation that he is not humble or a self-serving diva? I hope it isn't all because of that one silly coughing thing before the game. He has been a model player in the NBA for eight years. When Shaq came to the Heat, Wade's humility stood out at the time. He always carries himself well on the court. He has always given tons of credit to his teammates, coaches, and the organization. And, in turn, they have nothing but nice things to say about him. Off the court, he has been a philanthropist and now more information about how he is as a parent.

So please, tell me what am I missing?

posted by bperk at 06:19 AM on June 11

So please, tell me what am I missing?

Well, for starters, he kind of showed his ego at the start of the season when he said "If we lose a couple in a row this season, it will be like the World Trade [Center] is coming down again." That, and the quote about how opposing teams should thank the Heat for selling out their buildings.

He's not the worst offender on the team, by any means, but since LeBron got to town, it seems like Wade's talking a lot more, acting a lot less like the upstanding citizen he was. I'm also happy he sounds like a good father, and hope he keeps that perspective, but I haven't liked D-Wade as much this year as I did last, and it's because he's a lot more brash and seems to have less respect for people, as witnessed by the whole Dirk being sick thing.

posted by dfleming at 08:11 AM on June 11

Well, for starters, he kind of showed his ego at the start of the season when he said "If we lose a couple in a row this season, it will be like the World Trade [Center] is coming down again." That, and the quote about how opposing teams should thank the Heat for selling out their buildings.

Except that was a misquote, but no one remembers the correction. And, he apologized for it anyway.

The revised quote read, "There's going to be times when we lose 2-3 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 basketball games."

Besides that the "Heatles" thing was clearly a joke, it wasn't even said by Wade. It was Lebron.

Without specific things that Wade has done, I see no reason to believe that he has suddenly become a different person. Obviously, he is facing different issues with Lebron and Bosh joining the team. Still the harsh criticisms on this thread are without any basis that I know of. And using the Dirk cough thing to make a judgment that he has less respect just seems to be blowing a minor pre-game joke out of control. Wade said that he thought the media made too big a deal out of Nowitzki's illness. His point was that all the players play without injuries and illnesses, so there is no reason to make such a big story out of this one. You can agree or disagree, but making fun of the story that the media created doesn't seem to indicate a lack of respect for people. As to brashness, once again without any particular incidents, I don't know where that judgment is coming from.

posted by bperk at 08:38 AM on June 11

It isn't LeBron, it was actually Wade who said it more than once. LeBron came up with the Heatles much later.

posted by dfleming at 08:49 AM on June 11

The main problem I have with Wade is the fact they invited all of this media attention, and then act insolent around the negativity that comes with it.

If LeBron and Bosh had've quietly signed with the Heat, they wouldn't have built up the same degree of negative hype that they did. Case in point? The Celtics didn't when they brought in Allen and Garnett; they made quiet moves to built a stud, contender team, and they won a championship.

The Heat, and D-Wade in the center of it, made a spectacle out of themselves, fed the beast, and now act indignant to the media for both paying too much attention (in the case of them losing a couple of games) and then not enough (in the case of them paying attention to Dirk's fever). They seem to want the spotlight and the accolades for having created it, without taking any of the actual being a villain.

Dwayne's happy to play the media when it works for him, case in point this article, but the second it starts calling him and his partners on living up to the legend they built without playing a game together, he acts like it's all bullshit media. That, to me, is arrogant.

posted by dfleming at 08:58 AM on June 11

They seem to want the spotlight and the accolades for having created it, without taking any of the actual being a villain.

Wade talked about being a villain in an interview shown during the Finals. He sounded like he's come to terms with the fact they're hated by a lot of fans and is happy with the fans they have.

For all the talk of the Heat ego it could be a lot worse. Aside from one celebration that riled up the Mavs in game 2, they're not showboating during the games or doing much talking in between. When they're asked about comments by the Mavs that could rile them up, they say they'll let their play answer for them.

posted by rcade at 09:32 AM on June 11

Dwayne's happy to play the media when it works for him, case in point this article, but the second it starts calling him and his partners on living up to the legend they built without playing a game together, he acts like it's all bullshit media. That, to me, is arrogant.

Okay, we will agree to disagree because I don't see what you are seeing. I see that the media created the hype. Lebron created the hype with the Decision. I don't see what Wade in particular did to feed this circus. And, if he didn't want to take the harsh criticism that comes with it, I don't see why he or they should. Just because the media talks about them nonstop, that doesn't mean that they should be held to a different standard than every other player and have their every move dissected. Not liking that double standard may be naive, but it doesn't say that he has an exaggerated sense of his own importance to me.

posted by bperk at 11:45 AM on June 11

I don't see what Wade in particular did to feed this circus.

Wade was part of that over-the-top hour long celebration of the Decision where they promised "six, seven, eight, nine" titles at Miami's arena. It looked like a post-championship event, only without the championship.

posted by rcade at 01:00 PM on June 11

I believe, as unlikely as it may seem, that superstars by & large can avoid the press. Take Kevin Durant's recent contract extension as an example. Here is the two-time scoring champ, one of the most dynamic players in the league already, and likely a pillar of the game's appeal for the next decade, and what does he do to announce his "Decision?" A faxed signed contract, & a simple press release with no further comment. No one bugged him about it-got hardly more than 30 seconds on ESPN. See how easy that was? I get that KD isn't the player LBJ is yet, but if he focused on creating a "brand" to the degree LBJ has, his extension would have been a much bigger deal, but would also have required more than just a press release.

I don't buy the "leave Brittany alone" responses to all the criticism LeBron/Wade/the Heat have endured. Media coverage is a two way street. If you consistently give them little to no access, they leave you alone for the most part, even if you are great. They will have nothing to cover. But when you state publicly that you want to build a billion dollar empire, & have spent your career in front of cameras, you give implicit assent to getting constant coverage. I think it is naive & a bit arrogant to pretend that you can just pick and choose when the media covers you; they aren't just a tool for LBJ to manipulate to make money. When you have made yourself the story for years and things go south you can't put the toothpaste back in, because you were the one who helped create the narrative that it was always about you in the first place. In other words, quit playing the martyr card, because you helped create the monster.

At the end of the day I think each top-tier player has to decide how much of their career is actually about basketball, and how much is about creating a brand. It seems to me that the more you want to brand yourself, setting yourself up to be bigger than just the game you play, the more you open yourself up to media/fans focusing on, well, things other than basketball. The only reason why media/fans are scrutinizing LBJ so much is because he has encouraged discussions about him outside of basketball games for his whole career; to say that he is unfairly examined now because it isn't positive attention is laughable to me. I'll admit that the coverage has been over the top at times, but I think it is at least as much his fault as the media/fans.

Put it This Way: if LBJ throughout his career had handled major decisions in a manner analogous to how Durant handled his Decision, does anybody really think LBJ would be under such a microscope right now? I honestly don't, so to a large extent I don't feel sorry for him. I think Wade is a bit different, but again, no one made Wade appear on the cover of SI with a sly "I am such a genius for getting these two guys to come here" look, no one made him jump on the stage with the smoke machine, no one made him respond to criticism with the whiny "well, I guess the world's a better place now, cause the Heat is losing," comment, and so on. Do your required press conferences, say the same boring cliched answers, and then go away. It is possible-most of the league, including the top third of players talent-wise, do just that, and they enjoy being VERY wealthy and having a somewhat normal life. If you want to do more for whatever reasons (read: increase my brand to make more money), then live with the consequences of that.

posted by brainofdtrain at 03:34 PM on June 11

I think Wade was taken back by the amount of negativity they received for the 'decision'. I don't think he knew how to handle it, and I don't think most people would know how to handle it.

So it was their own decisions that created the negativity, but I understand not quite knowing how to handle it once those decisions were made. And I don't think it has anything to do with how good a father he can be.

posted by justgary at 03:40 PM on June 11

Wade was part of that over-the-top hour long celebration of the Decision where they promised "six, seven, eight, nine" titles at Miami's arena. It looked like a post-championship event, only without the championship.

It was a team event to introduce James and Bosh. What was Wade supposed to do? Tell management that he didn't want the fans to get too excited because he was worried how it would reflect on his character? Is Wade responsible for Lebron's stupid decision to have the Decision that got this whole thing started off on the wrong foot?

posted by bperk at 03:50 PM on June 11

bperk,

Yes, in a sense. There is little doubt they had talked since the Olympics about playing together-they had two years to figure out how to not come across as arrogant and entitled. If Wade simply says "look LBJ, that is going to come across as pretty arrogant (which is was), I'm not going to that," do you think LBJ & Bosh go ahead with it? No, of course not, they would understand what the perception of that would be.

Wade himself said after game three that he "is the captain and the leader of this team." So, act like one and say "guys, we haven't won anything yet, let's not fire up the smoke machine and talk about winning 7 titles before we have a practice together." Leadership is more than just appearing on the cover of magazines after you have recruited two other great players to play with you, or spending several seconds rubbing in a threeball in front of the Mavs bench.

I don't understand why this is so complex. Don't fire up a smoke machine before you practice, don't focus on branding yourself 24/7, don't nickname yourself after superheroes or call yourself royalty (ever notice how we just call Bill Russell, Jordan, Magic, and Bird by their names, and not names like "the chosen one?"), and you have a 99.99% chance of being well-liked by fans. I'm not saying it is easy, I would probably fail miserably setting good boundaries and not buying into all the hype about myself. That said, I'm also not making millions of bucks, so I don't feel too bad for them.

posted by brainofdtrain at 04:03 PM on June 11

It was a team event to introduce James and Bosh. What was Wade supposed to do?

He can orchestrate the signings of James and Bosh but he can't say no to a publicity stunt? Wade and/or the others could have realized how that would look. Celebrating before you've achieved anything never goes well.

posted by rcade at 04:42 PM on June 11

ever notice how we just call Bill Russell, Jordan, Magic, and Bird by their names, and not names like "the chosen one?

Is calling someone MAGIC any more pretentious than calling someone the Chosen One? Come on.

don't focus on branding yourself 24/7

Didn't Jordan kick branding into high gear? Air Jordan? Air Jordans? And Dr. J wasn't a real doctor.

I think you might have a short memory and a case of 'back when'.

You're also referencing players from a completely different era, the last playing almost a decade ago. That doesn't lend itself to a great comparison. If Bill Russell was playing today, he might indeed have a ridiculous nickname.

posted by justgary at 05:02 PM on June 11

Is calling someone MAGIC any more pretentious than calling someone the Chosen One?

Magic is a little pretentious. But nothing is more pretentious than the Chosen One.

posted by rcade at 05:46 PM on June 11

But nothing is more pretentious than the Chosen One.

Eh, how often is James called the chosen one? Magic isn't called anything but Magic. That's now his name. Magic.

But he smiles a lot, right?

posted by justgary at 06:39 PM on June 11

Eh, how often is James called the chosen one?

Not often. But he had it tattooed across his back after SI called him that when he was in high school, which lives on as a monument to ego.

But he smiles a lot, right?

Yes. His winning personality helped people embrace the nickname. So did all the championships he won. If LeBron wins one, watch how fast the media re-embraces him.

posted by rcade at 06:55 PM on June 11

His winning personality helped people embrace the nickname.

Exactly. I highly doubt Magic's ego (or Birds, or Dr. J's, or...) is any less than James. The difference is the personality. Magic was a natural around people. James seems much more awkward. He makes far more mistakes. Magic was all smiles. James is all tattoos.

So did all the championships he won.

He? It's a team game. Maybe Magic joining a team with one of the top players in the history of the game at center had something to do with it. If the Heat don't win the championship they deserve the criticism. But comparing Magic's early Laker teams to the teams LeBron was on in Cleveland shows why it's a team game.

If LeBron wins one, watch how fast the media re-embraces him.

Maybe the media. Fan's won't unless he softens and smiles more.

posted by justgary at 07:10 PM on June 11

justgary, a few responses & pushbacks:

Fair point on Magic-point conceded there.

Also, Jordan did market himself, I can't argue with you there. Furthermore, I commented on spofi less than a week ago that MJ was not an angel, and that part of LBJ's problem is that he is not as insane as Jordan about winning, and that LBJ is getting punished in part for not being nuts like him. So all that to say that my glasses aren't completely rose-colored. Nevertheless, I think LeBron has still made this bed, particularly because what Jordan wanted to accomplish & what LeBron wanted to accomplish are very different things.

LeBron wants to become a global icon (his verbage). To do that, he has used the media unlike any other player in NBA history in my opinion (possibly with the exception of Shaq), and I maintain it is bunk to ask the media help you build your empire every step of the way & then act like a helpless lamb, looking to your cronies & fans to defend you, when that same media turns to scrutinize you with the same intensity with which you earlier used them build your empire. Can LeBron really make commercials with ESPN where he tries to craft an image of himself & his personality, & then act hurt when the media questions the very perception he asked them to help him create? I don't buy it. You don't want picked on by ESPN LeBron? Then don't go use them to market yourself, b/c then you've become you're own problem.

Let me put it like this: Can LeBron collaborate with ESPN on something like this & then blame them for critiquing him?

I think you might have a short memory and a case of 'back when'.

You're also referencing players from a completely different era, the last playing almost a decade ago.

I disagree with this for a couple reasons. (1) My first point was about Kevin Durant, a guy who proves the whole "LeBron can't help the media's obsession with him" wrong. There are others to name too; Dirk for one comes to mind. So no, I don't have a case of 'back when,' if by that you mean people can't avoid this stuff today. Many do. (2) A decade ago isn't that different in my mind regardless. Did Kobe really face less heat in 2003 for the sexual assault debacle? I don't think so. To be honest, I think this is just an excuse made for LeBron. When players show a significant flaw after using the media to build their own brand, then that same media will critique them vigorously.

So I concede some ground here, but I think my central point stands. If you want to build an empire LBJ, you have to do consistent branding, which can only happen through media outlets like ESPN. That's fine, but don't act like you're being persecuted when they critique you more harshly, since you were helping them craft the impossible standard for you to reach in the first place. Whether you're Bill Russell, Dirk, or Durant, it is pretty easy to avoid this kind of dilemma, and all of them did or have so far.

posted by brainofdtrain at 07:24 PM on June 11

Pfft! I was/am a single parent for going on over twenty one years. Where's my chance to write a comentary for Newsweek? Oh, that's right, I'm just an everyday person like the thousands of others who do this every day with out fanfare. ;p

posted by steelergirl at 09:09 PM on June 11

Word. I was a single dad for a number of years, and I developed nothing but the utmost respect for ordinary women and men who do it day in, day out. I also got annoyed that many people thought a man bringing up kids alone was MORE worthy of attention than a woman doing exactly the same.

Unfortunately, in the minefield that is gender relations, celebrity and the media, the Wade story pushes a lot of these buttons.

posted by owlhouse at 09:21 PM on June 11

Where's my chance to write a comentary for Newsweek?

Publications like Newsweek run guest commentary all the time. Wade "was recently appointed by President Obama to a new parenting program geared toward encouraging fathers to become more involved in their children's lives," as the link states, so he's using the magazine to push that message.

He? It's a team game. Maybe Magic joining a team with one of the top players in the history of the game at center had something to do with it.

You're arguing this point against nobody. Feel free to continue, but let the record reflect that I know basketball is a team game.

posted by rcade at 09:39 PM on June 11

That's fine, but don't act like you're being persecuted when they critique you more harshly, since you were helping them craft the impossible standard for you to reach in the first place.

I completely agree with that brainofdtrain. You'll get no argument from me. I just think that it's somewhat of a natural progression, from Magic to Jordan to James.

But I don't feel sorry for him. You're right. Other players choose not to go that route, and James has. I also think James isn't particularly great at all this, makes mistakes, hurts himself. When we're talking about humility, I doubt James is any less humble than Magic or Jordan (jordan would have never shared a stage with pippen). They simply hid it better and made better choices.

but let the record reflect that I know basketball is a team game.

I realize that, but when you fall back on championships as a difference between Magic and James I think you forget that the chosen one's first teams were a far cry from Magic's.

posted by justgary at 04:04 PM on June 12

I think Wade's image is being tarred by his proximity to James rather than anything Wade has done.

posted by bperk at 05:13 PM on June 12

rcade, I am all for fathers being involved in their childrens lives. It just seems when a man is a single parent, he is hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread. When in reality, he is just doing something he should have been doing all along.

I have to admit this topic (single dads being so great) really grates on me because my ex decided that writing me a check every month was being enough of a parent to our son.

No, I don't really expect Newsweek to ask me to write a column.

posted by steelergirl at 09:23 PM on June 12

It just seems when a man is a single parent, he is hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread. When in reality, he is just doing something he should have been doing all along.

I'm going to be as delicate as I can in saying this: there is a live social issue related to paternal responsibility, particularly in African-American families. There is also a live social issue related to the position of sporting stars as role models, and their attitudes towards parental responsibility. Whatever you think about Wade, he's using the platform to talk about his childhood going between two different single-parent families, and his sense of responsibility now, and judging by the coverage from online sources focused on the African-American community, it was received well.

So, y'know, the prodigal son got a party when he came back, and the loyal son didn't.

posted by etagloh at 01:10 AM on June 13

I have nothing against Mr. Wade. I am glad he is being there for his children.

But I have a problem with people/media/whoever that elevate someone (see my second paragraph above) who does something that they should have been doing all along regardless of race/circumstances. It is called personal responsibility. Even if a male is unsure how to be a father, it is a learning experience, just like being a mother.

posted by steelergirl at 07:09 PM on June 13

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