Coaches always stand up for other coaches.
On Thursday night, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade yelled at coach Erik Spoelstra during a second-half timeout during Game 3 of an Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Indiana Pacers. Heat veterans Udonis Haslem and Juwan Howard eventually intervened to separate Wade from Spoelstra. Wade struggled throughout the game, scoring just 5 points on 2-for-13 shooting while committing 5 turnovers in 37 minutes, and Indiana went on to win Game 3, 94-75.
On Friday, the Palm Beach Post reported that outspoken Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said that Wade's treatment of Spoelstra was "disrespectful" and that "you can guarantee a fight" if a player tried to confront Guillen in a similar manner.
"I don't know Wade, I don't know the coach," said Guillen, who is not a big NBA fan. "That's disrespectful."Spoelstra, the second-youngest coach in the NBA, took a much more mild-mannered approach.
"I don't want to say I will kick [a player's] ass, they will kick my ass because they're bigger than me and I'm older," he said. "But I will take my chances."
"That happens," Spoelstra, during his postgame comments Thursday, said of the exchange. "You know, anybody who has been part of a team, been a coach, been a player -- you have no idea how often things like that happen. It was during a very emotional part of the game; we were getting our butt kicked. Those exchanges happen all the time during the course of an NBA season."
Spoelstra has coached Wade for four seasons and been on Miami's staff since Wade arrived in 2003.
"Dwyane and I have been together for a long time," Spoelstra said. "We've been through basically everything... That [exchange] was nothing, the least of our concerns. ... I've been around Dwyane for many years and I've seen him bounce back on similar storylines like this and come back and have great games."
After the Heat cancelled practice on Friday, ESPN.com reported that Wade said the Heat were ready to move on from the incident following a practice on Saturday.
"There's no harm done," Wade said. "We move on from it; I don't know if everyone else does."
The Pacers hold a 2-1 series lead over the Heat. Game 4 is on Sunday.