You may know that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are friends, but do you know the depth of the friendship they share?
Pablo Torre, who wrote a piece for ESPN on the matter, does.
“These guys stayed at each other’s houses when they were not on the same team. They would stay at each other’s houses instead of the team hotel,” Torre said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I think the detail that I pluck out – beyond the fact that Dwyane Wade, a man who famously hates vegetables and fish, trusted a man to order him sea bass – beyond all of that, I look (at Wade’s marriage to Gabrielle Union). When they got married a month after Dwyane Wade and LeBron James split up and LeBron went to Cleveland, and Dwyane Wade, it was speculated, was left in the lurch, that he was out money and his best friend – when they got married the next month, they stood on the altar, and after the first kiss, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade performed a multi-step hand shake that they choreographed. And the most conspicuous step in that handshake was LeBron James’ signature celebration.”
That may or may not have rubbed a few people in attendance the wrong way.
“This was in front of Pat Riley, in front of Erik Spoelstra, in front of Micky Arison – a month after they just had split up,” Torre said in disbelief. “This was something that transcended anything related to sports (or) related to conventional friendship. This is something that is real and authentic and deeper. They say ‘love’ to each other. We don’t often see guys or hear guys admit to using that kind of language.”
Torre said that James returning to Miami is “not off the table” but “seems unlikely.” Wade would love to have James back. So would much of Miami.
But Pat Riley? Probably not.
“My sense of Pat Riley’s pride is that it is enormous,” Torre said. “This would be eating a bowl of humble pie of a size and scope that would surprise me. Knowing how Pat Riley feels about that friendship since then, I would be surprised to see him basically hand over the reins to LeBron James again. I don’t think he’s found that experience particularly fulfilling in retrospect.”
In other news, Torre, who spoke out against the Redskins’ team name on The Sports Reporters, addressed a recent poll claiming that 90 percent of Native Americans do not find the word offensive. Torre questions the validity of the poll but still finds 10 percent too high to ignore.
“Let’s say it is 90 percent,” Torre said. “Let’s take that at face value. If I told anybody. ‘Hey, there is a dictionary-defined racial slur. Ninety percent of people who it describes don’t find offense to it, but one in 10 does – I think it equates to hundreds of thousands of people in real life – would you feel confident and comfortable using that term in their presence to their face?’ The answer is probably no – and the reason is you might not want to denigrate this person. That’s kind of a big deal.
“Ninety percent of people may not find it offensive, but the 10 percent of people who do find it extraordinarily serious,” Torre continued. “This is a real thing to real people. And the question is, do we care if an organization in our professional sports world of inclusivity and diversity chooses to use this still despite knowing that there are those people out there? It just seems crazy to me that we would.”