CAIRO - Cape Town Tigers head coach Rasheed Hazzard implored the media at the Basketball Africa League to stop asking him about Zaire Wade's father, NBA legend Dwyane Wade, after the team's blowout loss to Petro de Luanda.
The Tigers were outclassed from the off by the Angolan giants, who were runners-up last season, and lost 87-48 at the Nile Conference on Sunday.
Wade, who came off the bench, scored nine points in a spirited effort, and Hazzard was not pleased, post-game, to be asked about Wade's efforts in the context of his father.
Former Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks assistant coach Hazzard took responsibility for the defeat, adding: "He did his part as best as he could.
"Let me remind everybody: you're not watching Dwyane Wade; I'm not coaching Dwyane Wade, so there's no need to ask about his father - any comparisons, none of that stuff.
"The best version of Zaire is more than enough for Cape Town Tigers and more than enough for me as a coach. I think he's been unbelievable and he's shown his class not just as a player but as a human being."
Corner three for Zaire Wade @CapeTownTigers #TheBAL pic.twitter.com/zEAlBGOpih— Basketball Africa League (@theBAL) April 30, 2023
As luck would have it, the younger Wade was up against former Toronto Raptors player Carlos Morais, who went up against Dwyane at the 2008 Olympics while playing for Angola.
Zaire was patient in his response when asked about that, saying: "I heard about that last night. He's a good guy and obviously a good player... I've played against guys who have played against my dad or with him.
"It's obviously surreal. Life comes full circle. At the end of the day, when we get in between those lines, we were competing. After [the game], we talked about it for a little bit.
"It's very cool to see that he's still around in the game at a high level, doing what he's doing. It's dope."
In the earlier game on Sunday, Will Perry equalled Terrell Stoglin's BAL scoring record of 41 points to give Ferroviário da Beira a vital 109-97 win over SLAC.
CFV Beira of Mozambique defeat SLAC of Guinea by 109-97 in BAL.
Beira came out the blocks quickest as six points from Perry, four from Ismael Nurmamade and two from Najeal Young gave the Mozambican side an early 12-2 lead. Dane Miller Jr. kept SLAC in the game with some sharp shooting, but Beira saw out the first quarter with a 30-16 lead.
Young took over the scoring as the first half progressed, picking up 20 points before half-time to send Beira into the break with a 56-36 lead.
SLAC chipped away at the lead after the break as the Beira bench became increasingly restless. By the end of the third quarter, the Mozambican side still led 76-69.
Uchenna Iroegbu proved increasingly difficult to stop as the game progressed as his 29 and Miller's 30 put SLAC within touching distance several times in the fourth quarter, but ultimately, Perry was the hero after stepping up when his team needed it most. His 41 and Young's 26 clinched a crucial win.
Young said in the mixed zone, complimenting Perry for surpassing expectations of what a 5-foot-11 basketball player can achieve: "We put the ball in Will's hands and allowed Will to control the tempo of the game and make plays for us there on the stretch.
"He made some big shots, some big timely shots, but I'm not surprised. I've been training with Will now for almost two months in Mozambique and he made some shots."
The BAL airs on ESPN's channels in Africa. Follow the schedule and scores here.