There is something about the NBA play-offs that drives the game's finest players into a mind freeze. Get even the best players frustrated, and ugly things come out.
Prime examples: the Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and the Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant. Two super talents who do not just dislike losing, but get blinded by it.
The Heat were handled by the Indiana Pacers, 95-74, in Game 3, Wade going a brutal two for 13 from the floor. He finished with points, five turnovers and a lone assist. During the third quarter, a frustrated Wade got into the face of his own coach, Erik Spoelstra. Afterward, Spoelstra played down the incident and said it happens all the time.
At least Spoelstra acknowledged the incident. When Wade was asked about it, he said: "I don't know what you're talking about."
And then there is Bryant, who made it clear he was miffed when Meta World Peace inbounded the ball in the final seconds of an earlier series loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder to Steve Blake, who missed an open three-pointer.
After Game 4's loss - when Pau Gasol passed the ball from inside the lane instead of taking a shot, and it was intercepted by Kevin Durant, who then calmly hit a game-winning three-pointer - Bryant was displeased again.
"It was a bad read. It was a bad read on Pau's part," Bryant said. "Pau has to be more assertive. He's got to be more aggressive. … He just has to shoot it."
Playing the blame game is uncouth. Players such as Wade and Bryant should know better.
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