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| Sports |

The Dwyane-Desertion Paranoia Countdown: Confronting His Baron Nemesis Will Drive Wade Away

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Ever been in an intimate relationship at work that ended badly? We bet all you wanted to do afterward, in order to escape seeing your thwarted love partner by the copy machine every day at 10 a.m., was find another place to work.

They say that a business partnership is a lot like a courtship. And in 2007, Miami Heat demigod -- and our everything -- Dwyane Wade made some pretty disastrous decisions about which financial suitors he allowed into his California king-size bed made of money.

To be specific, he went into business with Baron Richard von Houtman -- an accused wife-beater with a minor concentration in policeman-battering, whose previous business partners included a Dutch drug lord. Probably not the wisest choice for a global superstar who finds Maybachs in his couch cushions.

The partnership ended catastrophically, resulting in three multimillion-dollar lawsuits and inspiring the baron to launch an inflammatory smear campaign against Wade accusing the superstar of everything from cocaine and steroid use to wife abuse.

Yesterday, Wade met with von Houtman -- and 176 high-priced lawyers, presumably -- in downtown Miami to try to "mediate" a settlement to the various suits. He was efficiently upbeat on his Twitter account, writing, "A day of handling business."

But he's just trying to steel our frantic hearts, bless him. Everybody knows that what transpired in that room would be anything but civil. Von Houtman is the same man, allow us to remind you, who called Wade a "fucking idiot" and Wade's mother an "alcoholic junkie" between sips of Chardonnay. We're guessing Wade is going to try to dunk von Houtman's cranium into a recycling bin, and von Houtman is going to wield his BlackBerry like a shank before the lawyers jump into the fray. Somebody could get stabbed with a Montblanc.

What we're getting at is that Wade will surely get so fed up by the escalating drama with his baron nemesis that he will do the same thing Marcia from accounts did after she accidentally got knocked up by Todd from payroll: find another employer.

Because, here in Miami, certain blood-thirsty reporters hound Wade to the point of asking him about Richard von Houtman at a frickin' charity event for poor kids, for chrissakes. But in Chicago, everybody still thinks of the baron as that guy on the frozen pizza box. Wade could simply play basketball, have his lawyers quietly deal with that jilted stalker he left in Broward County, and eat steak dinners with Michael Jordan every Wednesday night.

So thank you, Baron von Houtman, for dooming Miami to a future that probably includes Earl Watson as our starting shooting guard. And the clock ticks on...


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