MIAMI — Now fast friends and business partners, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem reminisced this week about the times — plural — when the two nearly came to blows.
As in a real fight. As in throwing hands. As in each Miami Heat man for himself.
The most memorable such moment, the two said, came during a seemingly innocuous moment involving former NBA guard Jeremy Lin.
The two explained that exchange during an Instagram chat on the NBA’s account, amid sheltering in place during this shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Haslem: “The time in Atlanta.”
Wade: “The Jeremy Lin time? Did I go help him up?”
Haslem: “When you picked up his shoe and I slapped your hand and you got mad. D-Wade wanted to fight me in the middle of the game. He was taking up for Jeremy Lin.”
Wade: “I picked the man’s shoe up and I was giving the man his shoe and you slapped it out of my hand. I’m like, ‘UD what the hell?’ ”
Haslem: “Man, we’re in the playoff run, the man’s trying to give Jeremy Lin his shoe. I would have picked it up and thrown it in the damn garbage. He’s trying to pick it up and hand it to him. I slapped his hand. D-Wade turned around and cussed me out.”
Wade: “We got into it real quick right there.”
It wasn’t the first such moment, which had the two recalling another heated Heat moment.
Wade: “We got into it one time on the bench when we were about to throw some hands.”
Haslem: “Oh, yeah, that’s when we had them young boys. Tyler Johnson and them thought they’d seen a ghost. They’d never seen us get into an argument.”
Wade: “They’d never seen us like that. We were like ready. That was the first time where I was, ‘We about to throw some hands right now.’ ”
Haslem: “They didn’t know what to do.”
And then there was the Heat’s 2012 playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, when Wade had to have his chronically sore left knee drained and his frustrations boiled over in one game with coach Erik Spoelstra.
Wade: “That game, me and Spo got into it a little bit. Spo got on me and we got into it. We all got a little hot-head moments in us.”
Haslem: “If I did what he did, I’d be in prison right now. I’d have been gone. After you got into with Spo, you and I got into it.”
And then there were the times when Wade, who retired after last season, and Haslem, who likely will retire after this season, sat back and took in the anger of another, such as when then-Heat coach Pat Riley found himself needing knee surgery amid a previously planned break for a hip replacement in 2007.
Haslem: “I don’t remember what game it was, but he came in at halftime. He got mad. He cussed us out. He kicked the door. And we didn’t see his a-- for two weeks. And the next thing we found out, he had hip surgery. He kicked the door and we didn’t see Riles for about two weeks and everybody was like, ‘Where Riles at?’ He had surgery because he blew his hip out kicking the door.”
©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)