Skip to content

Did Dwyane Wade make a dirty play on Rajon Rondo? No.

May 8, 2011, 1:39 PM EDT

Miami Heat's Wade and Boston Celtics Rondo tangle in second half of Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Boston AP

There are some mad Celtics fans out there today.

Well, happy about the outcome of Game 3, but mad when they watched Rajon Rondo go down with a gruesome dislocated left elbow.

And they are putting it on Dwyane Wade. They are saying he made a dirty play, pulling Rajon Rondo to the ground in the third quarter. That he caused the injury.

Kevin Garnett was among them, according to Doc Rivers (quote via CBS’s Ken Berger).

“Kevin was furious,” Rivers said in the hallway outside the Celtics’ locker room. “He just didn’t like what happened.”

A reporter tried to ask Wade about it postgame in what was a poorly phrased question that Wade brushed off while LeBron called it “retarded.” (Which could be another issue all together.)

To me, what Wade did was not dirty. If you think it was, then you are:

1) A rabid Celtics fan,

2) Focusing on the result not the play,

3) Both of the above.

Something similar to this happens a handful of times every game, where guys get tanged up and both go to the ground. This was not a case where Wade grabbed and threw Rondo to the ground, the two got tangled up and Wade fel and grabbed Rondo as he was going down and that caused Rondo to fall. The intent was different. Rondo has harder falls than that every game when he attacks the rim, and he usually walks away. The result was a fluke.  This play was playoff basketball but there was no intent to injure.

The result was painful to watch. But to focus on the result and not the intent misses the point to me — every game there are fouls that send guys to the ground and could result in ugly injuries, but 99 times out of 100 they don’t. The Celtics have made a living on the hard foul in recent years. What referees have to decide was whether the foul was reckless in its intent to injure. That was not the case here, this was two guys just falling down. It was just a fluky, bad result.

Wade did not make a dirty play here. People watching the game through Celtics green glasses will not see it that way, that’s what fans do. But this was not intentional. And the Celtics should be careful about retaliation — they are still behind in this series and will have enough trouble beating the Heat without digging themselves a deeper hole with free throws or ejected players.

  1. mornelithe - May 8, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Considering Rondo didn’t have possession of the ball, AND the ball was out of bounds when this happened. I’m not so quick to agree with you. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen flukes exactly like this happen before. In fact, anyone familiar with MMA would recognize that exact fall as what broke Mauricio Shogun Rua’s arm, during the Mark Coleman fight back in the days of Pride.

    That’s full contact MMA though, not basketball. Was it dirty, yes. Did he intentionally try to hurt Rondo’s arm? No, of course not, he had no way of knowing Rondo would fall the way he did. But, facts are, Rondo didn’t have the ball, the ball was out of bounds. That doesn’t denote clean play.

    And it really doesn’t matter how hard Rondo falls during other plays, that’s pretty much irrelevant to the topic at hand. In fact, all it does is take peoples focus away from what could’ve been a season ending injury.

    • bobwsc - May 9, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      nicely played Shogun reference!

  2. r0llinginthedeep - May 8, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Eh… Dwyane Wade DID cause the injury, Rondo didn’t get pulled down on his own, the Celtic fans are right about that.

    It wasn’t a dirty play, but I would very much like to know what Wade was going to achieve by pulling Rondo to the ground? It was needless, and it caused another player to get badly injured.

    • florida727 - May 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

      Kurt, I usually like and agree with your writings, but you’re way off base here. “r0lling” is right. Watch the replay. From virtually any angle, Wade pulled Rondo down. Was the injury that resulted a fluke? Absolutely. But Wade definitely created a dangerous situation. Then again, it was tame compared to what that @$$hole Byrum did to JJ Berea. Byrum deserves to be suspended for half next season AND fined a pile of cash for the B.S. cheap shot he laid down.

  3. frankvzappa - May 8, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    you might be right that Wade wasnt trying to dislocate Rondo’s elbow, but you are simply being a witting false propagandist by suggesting that he didnt pull Rondo down on purpose…if that happened to either LeBronna or D-Wad they would be out for the year and the Heat wouldnt have a chance in hell…Wade should be suspended for the rest of the series for a blatant cheap shot, one that he knew was his only chance of winning against a far superior team…

    • caine115 - May 8, 2011 at 5:15 PM

      Ok. You lost all credit when you say he should be suspended for the rest of the series. It was a foul. It was not an attempt to injure. And those are definitely green colored glasses if you think something like that deserves a suspension from the series. If that was a suspension that on average their would be 5 players suspended from each team every game. it was a foul. it wasn’t meant to injure. Boston is losing the series at the moment and they are mad. If you think thats a suspension woorthy play. And for the series. Its obvious your a Celtics fan who wants to win any way he can and knows with Lebrin and Wade its a tough task.

      I don’t mind people hating teams but when your blinded to make a statement like that you either don’t ever watch basketball. Or are off your rocker in hate of the heat as a Celtic fan. He didn’t try and hurt him. And i respect the Celtic fans that argue their point. I don’t bother listening to fans of any team argue for their team by coming up with something like this as suspend-able and you want it for the series.

      • caine115 - May 8, 2011 at 5:17 PM

        And btw untill last night. The heat had won 3 strait. 2 in the playoffs. And 2 of Bostons wins came in the first 10 days of the season when Wade had not even played with lebron for more then 2 and a half minutes of preseason.. And if that was the only way the heat can beat the Celtics. Whats the excuse for the first 2 games and Boston blowing a 4 game lead over the heat with 10 to go?

      • nfl25 - May 8, 2011 at 6:41 PM

        so you have seen something like that b4? i havent. i have seen hard fouls but this was completley different. i got no problem with hard fouls

      • nfl25 - May 8, 2011 at 6:43 PM

        wade seems frustrated when he isnt getting all the calls. wade and lebron r so used to getting all the calls when they play in miami. they seem like mad little kids when they play away from home

      • talis4 - May 9, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        caine, you are clueless. He should be suspended. If the situation were reversed, and this was done to either d-bag or lebrick, the perpetrator would have been suspended for the series. By ignoring d-bag’s actions, the league is making it clear that these two vermin have carte blanche to do whatever they like in this series. My god, lebrick is already allowed to take 3 or four steps without a turnover. He is immune to offensive foul calls, which allows him to throw his body toward the hoop as he pleases.

        stern is going to turn the league into professional wrestling.

  4. Gordon - May 8, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    He didn’t hurt him on purpose, but he pulled him down on purpose, so yes he cause the injury.

  5. jamesbmckay - May 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    I’ve played enough hoops in my 57 yrs to know that I’ve never tried to cushion my fall by dragging down another player. That’s how players can get hurt. The act of pulling RR down helped cause the injury. Deliberate, no. Worthy of a foul, yes. Below the dignity of any player, much-less a great one like Wade, hell yes.

    • nfl25 - May 8, 2011 at 6:45 PM

      wade wasnt even falling, thats the worst part, he went down purposly to take rondo down. i am not a celtics fan. check out the frame by frame

      http://celticshub.com/2011/05/08/video-wade-escapes-condemnation/

      • meatypickle - May 9, 2011 at 1:25 AM

        If you watch the last “Most Damning” movie you will see Rondos left hand pulling Wades left side, watch the jersey, and the right elbow in the back of Wades upper back and then hooking the arm of Wade. Both were cheap, Rondo got hurt but could have easily been Wade.

  6. jamesbmckay - May 8, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Correction… not deliberate in trying to injure RR. But the act was deliberate. Sorry.

  7. cordae - May 8, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Pre-Madonnas I tell you. I dont know whats more sickening, the clouded judgement on EVERY thing these guys do because of last summer, or the fact that NONE of you realize that the celtics do things like this all the time. Am I the only person who seen them commit like FOUR of these types of fouls like the last 3 minutes of game 7 in the finals last year? Due to fatigue? Okay the result was horrible, but every time their old selves run out of gas, Allen or pierce is throwing someone to the ground, hard. I think this is blown out of proportion because of WHO did it. Because if the shoe was on the other foot, especially if it were LeBrons elbow, there’d be cheers of joy. So stop being biased and acting like you all are concerned…

    • pff - May 8, 2011 at 6:47 PM

      wasn’t it KG that slapped Channing Frye’s beanbag on purpose this year while he was taking a shot? Celtics (more specifically KG) are as dirty as they come. Period.

      give it a rest that Wade tried to make a dirty play, guys. This series has been full of hard fouls and borderline flagrant fouls (the 2 breakaway fouls in game 1, Pierce headbutting Jones after a hard foul, Wade and Pierce slamming into each other). When did Celtics fans become such pu$$ies about this stuff???

      by the way…Rondo is fine

      • neeciekay - May 9, 2011 at 3:04 PM

        “pff” RONDO IS NOT “FINE”, there is no structural damage, but, let’s see YOU dislocate your ANYTHING, and see if you feel “FINE”!! By you saying that sounds really stupid and uncaring. Just like what D. Wade did when he pulled that man down to the floor!! And for what?? Ball was already out of play, so what other reason would he have to pull Rondo down?? I’m not saying that he knew the end result, of course not! None of us did. However, he’s played in the league long enough to know the dangers of pullin crap like that! And not only did he get up walk away, and never showed an ounce of concern (before, during, or after), he continued to exercise poor sportsmanship by “going after” Ray AND Paul. I guess he couldn’t handle the fact that he wasn’t going to win 3 in a row against the proven, better team. So, he did what his weak mind told him to do, and it ended in a horrible-to-watch (for anyone, not just Celts fans), horrible to experience, and potentially career-ending injury. Not cool. I respect Lebron for at least coming to check Rondo’s condition out. Karma is a mutha though, so now the Heat better watch their backs, now that one of their “leader” chose the low-road. And they still didn’t win the game!!

  8. wearshades88 - May 8, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Out in Atlanta, Kirk Hinrich is laughing at Rondo and the Celtics fans for crying about a “dirty foul” (Wade’s wasn’t).

    ^Was that a dirty play Rondo?

    • pff - May 8, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      LOL…good post

    • mornelithe - May 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

      I don’t really understand the point of your post. Is it to point out how lenient some calls are, or the lack thereof, or the inconsistency? If Boston, or any team for that matter plays intentionally to hurt other players, it’s the refs’ or league’s job to take control. The ‘play on’ mentality will only lead to more serious injuries and games getting out of hand.

    • neeciekay - May 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM

      First off: RONDO GOT HURT FAR WORSE THAN HINRICH DID!! And Hinrich DID NOT press on and come back out to play for his team!! So, don’t compare apples and oranges. Please don’t hate on Rondo’s resillience, simply because Hinrich didn’t show any after his injury.
      Secondly: Rondo NEVER once made a comment about the “foul”, he only stated that he’d play on for his team no matter what! Pain, or not! Not too many soldiers in the league like that. Guess that’s why RONDO has a ring, and Hinrich doesn’t!!! BTW, since you’ve brought up the Hawks in the midst of this discussion, they won’t have time to talk to any teams superior to them when my Bulls are done with their lucky butts, LOL!! BIG UP’S TO RONDO AND HIS TOUGHNESS!!

  9. redsghost - May 8, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Ok Kurt…if we thought it was dirty we are….a rabid Celtic fan.
    AND, if you DON’T think it was dirty, then you are a rabid Heat fan OR retarded!

    Did Wade think “hmmm let me pop out his elbow” ? Of course not. Did Wade think “hmmmmmm let me intentioinally pull him down and hope for an injury?” A RESOUNDING YES!
    What? You didn’t see earlier when Wade fell out of bounds and grabbed Paul’s shirt to AGAIN, INTENTIONALLY pull him down hoping for the injury! Wade did the same thing in Game 2 (see Paul Pierce), HOPING to cause injuries!

    Kurt…when reporting, it’s proper to leave your Heat Jersey at home and look at the game unbiased.

  10. nfl25 - May 8, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    i am not a celtics fan and i dont hate wade. what wade did was what a petty little girl would do. he swept his legs. this author is obviously either in love wit wade or wants a whole bunch of people to comment on the article. rewatch the play, there is no reason why he should have even hit the floor, he swept rondos legs and pulled him down with his arm

    • nfl25 - May 8, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      also i like when my team does a hard foul. but i wouldnt like if my team did that. it was a b$tch move. i have seen a lot of hard fouls but i have never seen any other pro do soemthing like that.

  11. Colin Zvosec - May 8, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Was he trying to destroy Rondo’s arm? No. That’s ridiculous. He had no way of knowing that would be the result.

    At the same time, it WAS a take down. He wasn’t falling. He clearly swept his leg around Rondo. That was a take down if I’ve ever seen one.

    However, people seem to be thinking that it wasn’t a take down because he wasn’t trying to hurt Rondo. Whether or not he was trying to hurt the guy, he still took him out. I honestly don’t see this play can be viewed as these two getting “entangled.”

    And I’m not a Celtics fan.

  12. zrbk - May 8, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    In the summer of 2006, DWade (along with Alonzo) became my hero. At that time, I just hated the Mavericks so much. It’s amazing how everything changed within a week. Dallas is now a formidable and respectable contender ready to end Phil Jackson’s career. Dwyane is just disappointing. What happened last night wasn’t playoff basketball; it was simply dirty. If the two teams meet in the finals again, I hope Tyson Chandler can throw Lebron and Wade on the ground.

  13. chitownbulls - May 8, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    You know that only thing I hated was how completely unconcerned D. Wade seemed to be after the play… I know he had to realize it was pretty bad with Kevin coming over telling Rondo to breathe. I didn’t expect him to help him up, but he got out of there pretty quickly, like whatever… I guess like D. Rose says all the time “that’s basketball…” I just think he should have been more in the moment. I do know some Heat players (not sure if D.Wade was one) asked him if he was alright upon his return, so I guess that counts for something.

    • neeciekay - May 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      I totally agree with you chitownbulls!! His conduct AFTER the play is what gave it away!! On top of the fact that he continued to attempt to hurt others! He’s a lame, I’m ashamed to say he’s from the Chi!! He left his wife and mother of his 2 children for a Gabrielle Union! I wonder if he wasn’t filthy rich, would Gabby still be with him? Huummmm, I doubt it, I live in Milwaukee, WI, he went to Marquette, I never saw Gabby at any of those games. . .my point, D. Wade’s character has declined over time, and he’s a sore looser. Didn’t even try to see if Rondo was OK! That’s what hurts the most. As my Granny always says: “every dog has their day”, and D. Wade’s is coming very soon. He’s too talented to resort to that kind of play. He should’ve taken his beatin like a man, and lived to fight another day. Now Rondo has to suffer because D. Wade’s pride got in the way! I have no more love for D. Wade, I’m sure he lost alot of respect when he pulled that stunt. AND THEY STILL LOST!!!

  14. scorp16 - May 8, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    WOW. You guys are incredible.

    Do any of you remember Game 1? Let’s refresh your memory…

    LeBron with a clear path to the basket…..Rondo trying to execute a flagarant foul…..
    The difference…LeBron didn’t fall ackward….Rondo did….

    Let’s not annoint the Celtics as saints…The homerism is hypocritical.

    • Colin Zvosec - May 8, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      No one is doing that. They’re just saying Wade took Rondo down. Just like when people were upset at Rondo for throwing Hinrich into the scorer’s table, people are upset at what Wade did.

      Just because people think what Wade did was dirty doesn’t mean the Celtics are saints. Why do people always assume this to be the case?

    • neeciekay - May 9, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      AND THE HEAT STILL LOST THE GAME, AFTER THEY D. WADE TRIED TO HURT RONDO, NOT ON A DRIVE TO THE HOLE, BUT, ON A CLEAR AND OBVIOUS DEAD PLAY!! You people slay me, comparing apples and oranges. . .Why do men hate the Celtics so much?? Is it because us ladies adore them?? Huummmmmm, STOP HATING!! D. WADE WAS WRONG, AND HE WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO GOD FOR WHAT HE DID!

      • cordae - May 9, 2011 at 6:50 PM

        Why do I feel like you’re yelling? And geez you act like he killed him lol

        But that is the case, colin. Because Celtics fans of all people know that the team they cheer for is amongst the dirtiest. Are they rightfully mad their superstar got hurt? Yes. But they should’ve have left it at that, especially if we’re talking about karma…

  15. flash316 - May 8, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Wade is not a dirty player, The Celtics are professional cheap shot artists, as soon as things go badly for them they throw flagrants around like nobodies business and get away with it because they are first ballot hall of famers… It makes me sick that they whine and cry when somebody accidentally does something. KG is the biggest punk of them all, people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones! I remember him calling Charlie V a cancer patient.. KG was furious, give me a break. The sooner these dinosaurs are disposed of the better!

    • neeciekay - May 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Here we go again with the “Celtic-hating”. KG a punk?? NEVER!! He’s been in more brawls than any player in the league, because he’s not a punk!! So, get it right “flash316″, and take your apparent hatred for the Boston Celtics out of the way of your common sense. And FTR: Kevin Garnett denied having ever called anyone a cancer patient. Your woman must’ve expressed her lust for KG at some point in time, LOL, you really got it in for Kevin Garnett!! I concur with your woman: “KG’s the MAN!!” It’s his job to defend!! It’s nobody’s job to play dirty!!

      • flash316 - May 15, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        I have been meaning to ask all week, how does that ass taste now?! KG is a punk, I love how he screened Ray Allen at the end of game four there, nice work genius! Have a good summer! LOL…

  16. notoriousdrs - May 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY PLAY…I’m very surprised that everyone can’t see that. Unless, of course, you are a miami heat fan or never played and don’t know anything about basketball . Dwyane Wade should be ashamed of how he is playing in this series. He tried to pull down Paul Pierce earlier in the game and that bull rush through through Peirce’s screen in game 1 is NOT a basketball play. Cheap, Dirty and shameful…I USED to have a lot of respect for you D-wade. And YOU Mr.Helin are a perfect example of what’s wrong with so-called journalists today inside and outside of the realm of sports. There is NO reason for that play to happen except that Wade INTENTIONALLY caused it to happen!

  17. dlong1968 - May 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    I have to wonder if Mr. Helin watched this game. Did you not see Wade try to pull down Paul Pierce earlier in the game? He pulled down Rondo and got him hurt. But he tried to do the exact same thing to Pierce earlier in the game. He was falling and tried to pull down Pierce. I didn’t think Wade was a dirty player until I saw the same thing happen twice in the same game. Then some Googling today and I see several claims about him being dirty from other players. I am sorry where there is smoke there is fire all too often. This doesn’t even mention the high elbow to Ray Allen. I hope he tries to pull Glen Davis down on him next and he will get his Karmic reward.

    He wasn’t trying to catch himself either folks. He was trying to take both these guys down. I doubt he had intention to injure them but he did try to take them down not just once but twice. You clearly don’t mention the Pierce incident which you are either ignorant about or you didn’t see. Which was it Mr. Helin? I bet you didn’t think Zola Budd wasn’t a dirty olympian either?

    I have to think that people who don’t agree with this are:
    1) MIA Heat homer
    2) Blind and don’t watch the games.

  18. nfl25 - May 8, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    there is a huge differnce between hard foul and playing like a b$tch. this gives a good frame by frame video, its all the way at the bottom. make ur own judgement

    http://celticshub.com/2011/05/08/video-wade-escapes-condemnation/

  19. dgbk - May 8, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Smh so basically if you think it’s dirty you looked at the game through green glasses. I think it was an intentional hard foul but obviously he didnt mean to hurt rondo. He clearly was annoyed because of the good defense. The “he lost his balance” is bull i never seen a person get up so fast after losing their balance or legs giving out.

    • jmessinger - May 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      I guess I’d say that an intentional hard foul away from the ball is a dirty play.

  20. jm9ulose - May 8, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    L O L. Everytime someone says something in the Heat’s defense, no matter how logical it is there are overwhelming thumbs down. The blind hatred for the Heat is comical to me. At least ATTEMPT to be objective. Some of the comments I read on here, it’s obvious the writer is on some sort of hallucinogen. Oh and BTW, waiting for a response from a Heat hater that says I’m on hallucinogens…….

    • neeciekay - May 9, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      You’re not on hallucinogens, you’re just a Miami-Lover. And that’s fine, this is America, you can be whatever you chose to be. Just don’t be guilty of the very thing you accuse other of. . .one-sided-ness! Anyone with eyes can see what D. Wade did was wrong. Lebron and other Heat players showed concern, D. Wade did not! And he still hasn’t! You and him would probably get along rather well. Just don’t embarass him, you’ll be nursing some sort of injury too!

  21. stoveteek - May 9, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    definitely tried to take him down without question. he swept his leg behind Rondo and went to ground, Did he want to break his arm? ask him what he felt in Heat of the moment. takedown was clearly thought out, quickly in the heat, and well executed.

  22. grizzfan - May 9, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    I hate the Heat but they were both grabbing and pulling on each other. Rondo plays as physical as any guard in the NBA so I don’t think this was anything out of the norm that you see in every game, it is just unfortunate that RR got hurt.

  23. jmessinger - May 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Wade put his leg behind Rondo and pulled him to the ground. That’s a dirty play made by Wade. Period. Agreed that he didn’t intend to hurt Rondo, but he wanted to take Rondo down (which is a dirty play), and then a freak injury occurred. One play like that doesn’t make Wade a dirty player, but yeah, he was upset and took out his frustration by making a bush-league play, and unfortunately the result was something no one expected.

  24. exile103 - May 9, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Hey jerk*#8, don’t talk down to us. I’m a Spurs fan all day long. The East can bite it. But watching this, I can’t help but think that Wade was pissed at Rondo playing him so tight. He swung his leg back behind Rondo, then swung him backwards, knowing he’d fall over his leg and hit the floor hard. Wade has a LOUSY history vs. the Celtics. I wouldn’t put it past him for a second. I guess you also think Bynum & Odom’s plays that got them ejected in game 4 yesterday weren’t dirty either, huh? You come off as a presumptuous jerk.

  25. lilevil74 - May 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Celtics fan here! Rondo will play game four, so what does it matter? The Celtics just need to concentrate on game 4. We have to forget what may/may not have happened in game 3 and NOT look to retaliate. Officials will be looking hard at everything after yesterdays debacle. Besides, Kobe “4 million steps” Bryant and the sore losing Lakers are done for the year! This is a great day! Enjoy it!

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4537)
  2. L. James (3968)
  3. K. Love (3838)
  4. J. Nelson (3496)
  5. R. Allen (3283)
  1. C. Anthony (2874)
  2. D. Rose (2812)
  3. K. Bryant (2662)
  4. A. Wiggins (2228)
  5. A. Aminu (2102)