We're predicting at least one use of the word hater in the comments section of this post, so allow us to preface this by saying: We would sacrifice our teenage daughter to Kobe Bryant if that would mean the Heat bringing home a championship. And we'd love to see Dwyane Wade score 55 points a game during the playoffs, which begin for Miami with a Sunday-night game against Atlanta.
But we're aware that, with all the ugly allegations swirling around Wade, we might be rooting for the villain. Sure, some of the smears on Wade have no evidence to back them up and could certainly be rooted in personal vendettas. But if our kid wanted to wear a #3 jersey, we'd probably sit him down and make him read the following -- and then pay for it himself.
Behold, the five most nefarious allegations against D-Wade:
1. He's an adulterer: Richard Von Houtman, the British baron and jilted former business partner of Wade's who has made a full-time gig out of disparaging the superstar's reputation, takes a special glee in describing #3's promiscuity. Houtman and Wade partnered in the short-lived D-Wade's Place restaurant chain. "All Dwyane was focused on was picking up the waitresses," Houtman clucks to Riptide. Wade's publicist dismisses von Houtman's claims: "It's a shame that a disgruntled former business associate is peddling these fairy tales to fit his own personal agenda."
2. He knowingly gave his wife an STD: According to court papers filed by ex-wife Siohvaughn, Wade's extramarital affairs resulted in him contracting an unnamed STD, which he passed on to her. "Dwyane knew or should have known that he was infected," the court papers claim, but "did not inform, disclose, or warn Siohvaughn of the disease before engaging in sexual intercourse with her." Siohvaughn later retracted those claims, and Wade is suing her for harming his reputation. "It is sad that an obviously angry and bitter woman will go to any lengths to publicly damage Mr. Wade," the superstar's lawyer told reporters.
3. He's a bad dad: He was named "Father of the Year" in 2007 by the National Father's Day Committee, but the committee might've asked Siohvaughn for some insight first. She claims Wade has funneled a fortune to friends and family, including a $2 million church to his mom, but "has neglected his own children's financial needs... going months without seeing either of them and weeks without returning his then 5-year-old son's telephone calls. Dwyane's abandonment of his children and failure to spend time with them on any type of regular basis has resulted in the children at times being afraid of him; in fact, Zion [his 3-year-old son] does not recognize or know Dwyane... crying uncontrollably when Dwyane holds him (during the few occasions they have been together.)"
"It has been difficult to see false allegations, rumors, and gossip repeatedly discussed in public about my personal life," he said in a statement addressing all of his ex-wife's court claims.
4. And it's not just his own kids he dissapoints: As reported by our Broward-Palm Beach sister paper, Wade shirked his obligation to a charter school chain for underprivilieged kids he was involved in, in which von Houtman was among the partners. Says CEO Mark Thimmig: "It's a tragedy of missed opportunity. Everybody gives up on these kids."
5. His entourage controls him: Von Houtman claims he made $150,000 in cash payments to right-hand man Marcus Andrews, a childhood friend of Wade's, during his business relationship with the superstar. The reason: graft. "Marcus's favorite saying was 'Do you want a happy Dwyane or a sad Dwyane?'" von Houtman claims. "That's an exact quote." Contacted by Riptide, Andrews e-mailed a brief response: "Not true!"