Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal, two seven-foot hulks with firm Floridian ties, have, in recent years, been involved in a weird war of words (mostly Shaq's) concerning who has rightful claim to the nickname Superman. This is the sort of argument four-year-old boys have in a treehouse. Then, when those four-year-olds simultaneously attempt to fly out of that treehouse, each breaking a limb (of their own, not the tree's), they realize that there's only one Superman, and he exists only on film. Gravity is the boys' kryptonite, just as free throws are Dwight and Shaq's.
See, it's typically pretty easy to identify even the most elite athlete's kryptonite. Take Miami Thrice, for instance. Chris Bosh is a small forward trapped in a power forward's body who is prone to three-rebound games; his status as the Heat's longest low-post defender is the team's kryptonite. And uniquely spectacular as LeBron James is, he lacks any semblance of a back-to-the-basket post arsenal, and his awkward jump-shot form betrays a guy who's always been so good at everything else that nobody bothered to teach him how to stroke it properly.
But it's tougher with Dwyane Wade -- there's no real kryptonite in his game. To find that elusive resource, one has to venture off the coast of northwest Africa to the Canary Islands, where a 6' 2" suburban Seattle native named Josh Fisher earns his keep as a reserve guard for a top-flight Euro league team named C.B. Gran Canaria. If any team is serious about mounting a wicked set of road spikes along the Heat's path to the NBA Finals, they'll go (get) Fish.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Fisher played his college ball at St. Louis University, which faced Wade's Marquette squad twice a year on the Conference USA calendar (both schools have since switched conferences). While in Wisconsin, Wade typically threw up the same gaudy stats as he does nowadays -- except against the Billikens and Fisher, who always drew the assignment of covering a man who would go on to wear bow ties in the tropics, bone Gabrielle Union and have Charles Barkley in his five.
During the 2002-2003 season, Final Four-bound Golden Eagles squeaked by the NIT-bound Billikens both times they faced one another. But in their personal battle, Fisher was the decisive winner. In their first meeting, Wade scored seven points on 3-17 shooting. In the second meeting, he scored six. These were the only two games all season in which Wade failed to score in double figures.
Fisher, whose offense was typically an afterthought, poured in 10 and 16, respectively. Most impressively, the stymieing of Wade was not the byproduct of some sort of "Jordan Rules"-esque team defensive plan -- Fisher guarded Wade man-to-man with very little help. Want to know what Wade's nut sack smells like? Ask Fisher, because he lived in Wade's jock and was more bothersome than a case of crabs.
So there you have it: Josh Fisher is Dwyane Wade's kryptonite and has presumably kept himself in good enough shape overseas to make a run at duplicating his collegiate success. Kryptonite, of course, is green, and if Danny Ainge wants his Celtics to beat the Heat, he'd be wise to fit Fish for a jersey and a league-minimum contract.