Dwyane Wade wasn’t suspended for the elbow he landed to the head of Lance Stephenson in Game 2, although after the play was reviewed by the league office, it was upgraded to a flagrant one foul.
Many thought there was a decent chance Wade might have faced a suspension for the blow to the head, even though it was more of a strange play than anything else, and the contact made by Wade’s elbow appeared to be entirely accidental.
Wade echoed the sentiment before Game 3 on Sunday, while saying he was never concerned about being punished too harshly for his actions because of the lack of intent to injure his opponent.
“I wasn’t worried because it wasn’t intentional,” Wade said, via Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. “The NBA did a great job of looking at it and they gave it what they felt it deserved. Obviously, it wasn’t a play that affected the game and it wasn’t intentional at all. All I was doing was trying to get out of the way of him coming to try to set a screen on me at halfcourt while I was trying to chase Paul George down and I jumped around him.
“It’s an athletic game,” Wade said. “It was an athletic move. Unfortunately my arms went back but you see it wasn’t anything there and I have no history of that kind of stuff.”
As is the case with most plays like these, things looked much worse in slow motion, and even worse than that while looking only at a series of still images of the incident.
But Wade reiterated that he had no intent whatsoever of doing any harm to Stephenson with that wayward elbow.
“There was nothing malicious about it,” Wade said. “If you’re not there in the moment, it looks a little different.”