Dwyane Wade wouldn’t mind seeing the NBA’s “Last Two Minute Reports” go away — and it has nothing to do with the NBA saying officials were correct when they didn’t call Cody Zeller or Courtney Lee for fouls on Wade in the final seconds of the Heat’s Game 5 loss to the Hornets.
For Wade, partial transparency is not enough transparency, and the 12-time All-Star said the league needs to be upfront about how games are called differently early compared to the pressure-packed moments of the fourth quarter and overtime.
“Those last-two-minute [reports] are pointless — it does nothing for us, and it does nothing for any other team,” Wade said after the Heat’s workout prior to Game 6 on Friday night. “Go through the whole game and break it down, it would help the refs and this league continue to grow. But those last-two-minute [reports] — that’s not a good thing. That’s not a good light shining on the game.”
Former Heat teammate LeBron James agreed with Wade on Friday, telling reporters in Cleveland that those reports “change absolutely nothing” and “sends a bad message to our fans of thinking the game is only won in the last two minutes.”
Shortly after Wednesday night’s 90-88 home loss, Wade, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union, were adamant a foul should have been called after Wade drove toward the basket and drew contact from both Zeller and Lee before losing the ball.
The NBA ruled Thursday that Zeller maintained legal guarding position because he jumped vertically to defend Wade’s shot and that Lee made contact with the ball during Wade’s upward shooting motion, which thus made his minor arm contact with Wade after that incidental.
Wade said he watched Thursday night’s Game 6 between the Celtics and Hawks and saw plenty of examples early in the game when similar plays happened and fouls were called. Wade’s point is that the NBA needs to acknowledge that games are called differently late, something that he personally has no problem with.
“[There’s] a lot that happens in the game that can affect even those last two minutes,” Wade said. “A player’s actions or something that happens [in the game] can affect those last two minutes or why something was or wasn’t [called] right. If there’s something I’ve done earlier in the game, maybe there’s a reason I didn’t get that [call] late in the game. Who knows. I just don’t think two minutes is a real indication. That’s just my personal opinion.”
The Heat voiced concerns about the officiating after Game 4 and Game 5, and center Hassan Whiteside accused the Hornets of flopping on drives to the basket after Game 4.
Still, Wade said the Heat can’t blame the officiating for its struggles in the series.
“It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback. We can all do that in life with different people,” Wade said.
“I mean, there’s a lot of times I go back and I look and say [the refs] were right. Sometimes I go back and say they were wrong. But I’ve never been a player who has cared to [call the league] to complain. It does nothing for us, for this team.
“At the end of the day, we all get frustrated. In the moment you’re frustrated … but [the refs] had nothing to do with the ball bouncing to Courtney Lee the last two games. So, there’s certain things about the game you can’t put on one call. You can’t say, ‘If they would have called that we would have won.’ ”
Wade’s wife had suggested after Wednesday’s game that officials who make mistakes should be fined and their records of missed calls made public.
After the NBA’s “Last Two Minute Report” from Game 5 was released late Thursday afternoon, the NBA referees’ official Twitter account included Union when it sent out the following message: “The referees are not always right, but on this call we were.”
Wade said the fact that the officials included his wife in their statement was “pretty good.”
“She’s pretty popular,” Wade said.
“That means she got her point across — whatever she was trying to get across. She did good.”