Is it possible that Kobe Bryant/Dwayne Wade is the biggest rivalry that no one talks about? Somehow LeBron choking (which he didn’t, let’s be honest. The guy scored about 15 points in the last 5 minutes of that game) is the biggest story, surpassing the events that transpired between #24 and #3.
By now we all know that Wade broke Kobe’s nose on possibly the most non-flagrant flagrant foul in All-Star Game history. During the fourth quarter of the game, Kobe & Wade were going toe-to-toe. On one end Kobe would trap Wade in the corner and cause a turnover. Wade seemed to be a little perturbed at this, and 4 or 5 possessions later would foul Kobe after being beaten on the baseline by a spin move. While everyone else was free to dunk if they were free, Wade chose to foul Kobe. And this wasn’t in the fourth when everything was super intense, this was with 8:46 left in the third quarter. Definitely not a foul fit for the All-Star game.
Malicious? Maybe. Kind of surprisingly he didn’t seem to see if Kobe was alright after fouling, nor choosing to do so after everyone realized Kobe’s nose was bleeding. Then after the game he had some interesting comments about Kobe breaking Jordan’s All-Star scoring record, and his foul on Kobe:
With Kevin Durant in the league, I don’t know how long that’s going to last.
Obviously I didn’t try to draw no blood … but I took a foul. Kobe had fouled me twice in a row right before that.”
This all becomes interesting because as great as Wade is, he’s always seen as second to Kobe when talks of the best SG in the league come up. Eventually you’d have to think this gets to a person, especially as his stats have been better than Kobe’s for the past couple of seasons. In fact, if not for Kobe (and his teammate LeBron) Wade would probably be seen as the best player in the NBA since 2006 when he almost single-handedly beat the Mavericks in the NBA Finals. Oh, and let’s not forget this. It’s like Kobe constantly pwns Wade at every turn.
Much can be said about Kobe’s response too, or lack thereof. No complaining, arguing, expressing anger to Wade. Just went to the free-throw line, shot his free-throws (after receiving medical attention), and then proceeded to play the remainder of the game. No biggie, really. He only had a mild concussion and a broke nose, which no one knew about because he didn’t make a big deal of it.
Possibly the saddest part of all of this is that if this happened to LeBron or Wade, you can be rest assured the game would’ve stopped for 5 minutes, and they likely wouldn’t have played for the remainder. Going to be a sad day when Kobe retires, not many warriors left in the NBA.