Since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat on July 9, there’s been a low rumble suggesting that Wade, as a Miami Heat employee, may have been tampering when he talked to James in past weeks (and years) about joining the Heat.
Unless it can be materially proven that Wade was acting at the behest of Heat management, this particular player-to-player tampering charge is unfounded.
But thanks to an interview with Wade on the Dan Patrick Show on July 10, 2009, if there was any doubt that Wade and James previously talked seriously about the possibility of joining forces with the Heat, there isn’t now.
Here’s some excerpts and audio of the interview between Patrick and Wade:
Wade on playing on the same team with James: “We’ve considered it years ago. You considered as a talk. We think about, ‘wow we could play on the same team some day? Wow, that’d be great.’
“Last year (2008) when he (LeBron James) came down for our (charity event) Summer Groove in Miami, we joked about being in the same locker room as each other. … you never know what could happen.”
Patrick: “What about (teaming up with LeBron) in New York? … Can you imagine that?”
Wade: “I can imagine it, but … I love being in Miami, so I have to say if we want to play (together) he has to come to Miami. Of course, right?”
NBA players, per the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, aren’t considered front office representatives of teams when it comes to tampering. Though this particular case may move activist owners like Mark Cuban and jilted Jim Dolan of the Knicks to rework the rule so it soon applies to players.
But as Ira Winderman of the SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL notes, if you try to enact such a rule, you may as well rule out NBA players playing on America’s Olympic Team in the future.