Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the NBA players in their fight against the owners during the NBA lockout.
In fact, Wade famously got into a shouting match with commissioner David Stern in September during a negotiating session between the players union and the owners.
But we are seeing that maybe there is a line Wade won’t cross, and that is the one where he has a lucrative marketing and endorsement relationship with ex-NBA star and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan. Several players have come out against Jordan because of his hardline stance as an owner of one of the cash-strapped small market franchises.
Jordan needs a bigger share of the NBA revenue pie and more restrictive salary cap if he wants to be competitive and turn a profit as the owner of the Bobcats. That means being strongly in favor of slashing player salaries, which is hard for a lot of current players to swallow considering Jordan made more than $30 million in each of his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.
Several players have ripped Jordan for the hypocrisy. But don’t look for Wade to join the chorus.
"I really didn't need to get involved in all that," Wade said to the Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Obviously I wear a different hat than certain other guys that got involved in it. And I stay away from it. I have an obligation and I have a job to do and I'm going to do my job."
Many players have said they will no longer wear Jordan athletic apparel gear or support the Jordan brand. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Washington Wizards guard Nick Young went as far as to go on his Twitter page and announce, "I'm not wearing Jordans no more. Can't believe what I just seen and heard from M.J. Elvis Done Left The Building."
"That's on Nick Young," Wade said in the report. "That's his moment. Obviously, that's his own choice and decision and, you know, that's something he's going to have to deal with. I can't let that affect me. I have my own things to run, my own stuff to think about what I'm doing with my own shoes.
"Obviously, I heard about it, because you can't do nothing but hear about everything now, because there's nothing else to do."
Contact Terrance Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.
(Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)