There are a lot of dumb things that happen in the NBA, which is a big part of the reason I have the job that I do. However, my least favorite of all the dumb things that happen on a regular basis is the seemingly endless stream of players calling each other “fake tough guys” when someone gets in someone else’s face. This is usually followed by something along the lines of “If we were on the playground, he wouldn’t act like this,” which is also very stupid. Brendan Haywood knows what I’m talking about.

Literally every player in the NBA — excluding Metta World Peace, Stephen Jackson and maybe two other people I am forgetting — is a “fake tough guy,” if the definition of that is “won’t actually fight you on the court.” No duh they won’t. Fighting costs money and no one wants to just throw away their cash. Ergo, calling someone a “fake tough guy” is pointless, unless the player saying that is also saying they’d actually fight at any opportunity. Which they’re not, which is why it’s dumb. (THANKS FOR THE SOAPBOX FOR THE DUMBEST POINT EVER, WHICH MADE ME SIDE WITH BRENDAN HAYWOOD. UGH. MOVING ON.)

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Dwyane Wade changing things up while zinging Danny Granger and his tough guy act. From ESPN:

“I’m all for standing up for your guys but certain things you just can’t keep doing,” Wade said. “My message to Granger was that you just can’t keep running up into people’s faces for altercations. We’re not fighting on this basketball court so let’s not act like we’re going to fight. We can be physical and do all that but certain things got to stop. Are you out here to play basketball or are you out here to be a tough guy?”

Yes. Exactly right, Dwyane Wade. Calling someone a “fake tough guy” is pointless, so instead just mention that everyone is a basketball player and therefore won’t actually fight, and do so with disdain that reads like you are rolling your eyes as far back in to your skull as is humanly possible. This is the logical argument that Socrates would make if he were a basketball player (solid screen-setter, decent handle, thinks too much on the court, always sweaty).

Rather than puffing out his chest and acting like he’d beat up Danny Granger if he tried something on the court, Dwyane Wade just dismisses things with a “Come on, Danny Granger. Relax.” I love it. So does Brandon Jennings.

No one’s fighting on the court, even if Dwyane Wade is tackling players, so why act like it? There’s a difference between playing tough and just being annoying. Like Wade says, standing up for your guys is cool. But trying to fight everyone, while great TV, gets old quick if you never actually do anything about it.

If Danny Granger ever does anything besides pretending like he wants to fight, perhaps I’ll reconsider my stance. As it stands, Granger could end up meeting Kendrick Perkins in an ultimate posture-off where both guys’ faces touch for 10 solid minutes and not a single punch is thrown. No thanks. I prefer someone admitting that they’re not going to fight, even if it’s not the “tough guy” thing to do.

Comments (15)

  1. I use to like danny granger, I lost all respect for him now. He’s acting like a little kid out there. He’s the reason the pacers are going to lose. He isn’t fueling the pacers, He’s fueling the heat.

    • I agree. Wade and LeBron are two players who, when provoked, can (and usually do) rip a team to pieces.

  2. So Granger is supposed to keep quiet when James tries to elbow him and Wade keeps cheap shotting his teammates? Who wouldn’t at least get in someone’s face over that? Seriously, why is Granger a bad guy for reacting in a way most everyone would?

  3. Granger should join the NHL. He can be a ‘tough guy’ all he wants there.

  4. I don’t mind this as much as other people here. The Heat play physically and at times dirty, just like most good teams. Maybe Granger’s overdoing the enforcer act and not winning the favor of any refs, but if a team tries to push you around mentally and physically, sometimes you just have to clothesline Kurt Rambis. Go ahead Danny. Clothesline that Rambis…

  5. yeah, this coming from Wade who thinks he’s a badass.

  6. It’s tough to take Wade seriously given how much he chirps, and his entitled act about every foul call every made by any referee. And the flopping and flailing.

  7. Granger can say whatever he wants…………..tomorrow. Tonight he’s icing his face from getting pecker-slapped by Wade and LeBron.

  8. Granger has been doing this for years. Inserting himself into any altercation and pretending like he’s ready to haul-off on somebody.

    HEY TBJ: How bout a ‘Top Ten things that that Danny Granger would want to pretend to fight you for doing’ list.
    1. High fiving a teammate after a made basket

  9. I guess Haslem and Pittman didn’t get the memo. How ironic for them to open their mouths about not fighting on the court and then following that up with 2 players maliciously hurting people. Another great story for you to cover on the TBJ show or blog…

  10. When your next best tough guy ist Lance Stepenson, who doesnt play and still makes choke signs towards the best player in the league. You know someones gotta step up. so its ok for Granny Danger to do so. he can back it up.

  11. Wade should just shut up. Why the F did he not get suspended after G2 (although he kind of played like he suspended himself)? Why is this not a bigger deal?

    When he’s angry at a call that didn’t go his way he puffs and makes an angry face and then fouls hard (with the intention of fouling hard). Bowling over Darren C was not a basketball play. I remember him swatting away Granger’s hand with no intention of hitting the ball and a couple of other instances.

    Yeah its the playoffs and you play hard, etc. but its still meant to be 21st century basketball and not the early version in cages.

    • el_horse,

      shut your pie hole and pot hole :). You sound like a jilted girlfriend, who is just rambling off. At 6’4″, Wade is the third best shooting guard in the history of the NBA behind Jordan and Kobe He can say whatever he wants. The ref should be calling fouls every time some breathes on him. You should be charged an annual fee just for watching the Heat (Wade and Lebron) for putting on a basketball show. No one wants to see the Pacers.

  12. im glad im not the only one who notice the act those pacers were pulling of. yes, they are a talented bunch, but riling up on the heat team, trash talking with shades of insult even before the series even started, was a big no no. during interviews the heat would acknowledge that it would be a tough series with these pacers, while the latter would say a bunch of ^##&@. most esp paul george, danny granger and george hill.

    im glad the heat won this series, serves them right those over confident, fake tough guys so called pacers. i hope they learned a lesson or two. if they want respect, they should give respect first.

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