MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade insisted Sunday that he meant no harm and blamed a time-clock management issue for his shooting at the basket during the singing of the Canadian national anthem on Saturday before Miami's home loss to Toronto in Game 3.
Wade received criticism on social media from Raptors fans and some media members who questioned his decision to take shots while the anthem was played. Wade then stood in line with teammates when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played before the Heat's 95-91 loss.
"I'm not a disrespectful person. So if anybody thinks I'm being disrespectful towards a country, then they have no idea of who Dwyane Wade is."Dwyane Wade on taking shots during singing of "O Canada"
"It's something that I do before every game that I prepare for, and I've been doing it my whole career," Wade said after the Heat's practice session Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena. "So I understand whatever is said from that standpoint, but I'm not a disrespectful person. So if anybody thinks I'm being disrespectful towards a country, then they have no idea of who Dwyane Wade is."
The NBA rule book states that, "Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem."
NBA spokesman Tim Frank, responding to a question from ESPN of whether Wade would face ramifications for his activity during the singing of "O Canada," said the league talked to the Heat about the situation.
"We spoke to the team, and the Heat will work with its players to make sure no pregame routines interfere with either anthem going forward," he said.
Wade said taking additional shots is part of his normal pregame routine immediately before and after the anthem is played, and he typically starts with about 12 minutes left on the countdown clock. Because the anthems of both countries were played in succession, the timing of Wade's routine was thrown off.
Several Canada-based reporters asked Wade about it during his media session Sunday. Wade acknowledged that the Heat would make an adjustment to the clock to ensure there isn't another misunderstanding when the teams meet for Game 4 on Monday.
Wade suggested that too much was being made of the shooting display, which involved the 13-year NBA veteran and perennial All-Star attempting to make a layup, a dunk and a 3-point shot in quick fashion at the end of the anthem before he retreated to the bench for final team instructions. After his general session with a larger group of reporters Sunday, Wade met with a smaller group of Canadian media for an extended interview about his career and future on and off the court.
"Everything started a little later than it did when we were in Canada [for Games 1 and 2]. It started at 12:30 on the clock," said Wade, who scored a game-high 38 points in Saturday's loss, which gave Toronto a 2-1 series lead. "It was no disrespect from myself. And if anybody feels like it was, please don't fill up my timeline with disrespectful comments because that's not this guy right here. Find somebody else for that. But we'll adjust our pregame routine for the next game."
Mayor of Toronto John Tory and City of Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly reacted to Wade's actions on Twitter: