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Dwyane Wade's Foul on Kobe Bryant- Accidental or Malicious?

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A lot of controversy has churned up from this years All Star Game, the latest of which surrounding the hard foul Dwyane Wade landed on Kobe Bryant.

With 8 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Wade attempted to wrap Kobe up to prevent a dunk, and in doing so, broke his nose. Bryant was later diagnosed with a concussion, forcing him to likely miss games and bringing forth the inevitable question, was Wade's foul dirty?

It was undeniable that Wade was attempting to commit a strong foul but completely ambiguous in terms of his intent. Fact is, only Wade knows what his intent was but it seems like a massive stretch to presume he wanted to hurt Kobe. There is something to be said however about a hard foul committed in the 3rd quarter of an All Star game.

Right after the game Wade was asked about his foul on Kobe and quickly defended it, saying Bryant fouled him twice right before that. Wade has been known throughout his career for being a classy, nice and competitive player, and although we don't live in an eye for eye society, I think it's safe to presume Kobe did foul him on previous possessions. It's easily fathomable how people can perceive it as a dirty foul but I think what's being notably overlooked, is Wade's own toughness and will to compete. The foul may have been unnecessary in that type of game, but physicality in sports convey messages that are sometimes warranted.

For the Miami Heat to win a championship they will have to demonstrate a considerable amount of mental and physical toughness, and while that foul was justifiably uncalled for, it shows that their leader is willing to do whatever it takes to compete.

Here's a video from last years series against Boston were Wade sent Kevin Garnett a physical message.

The Lakers front court of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol didn't appreciate Wade's foul on Kobe and made it known at their most recent practice:

"In an All Star game, I don't understand what that was all about..that's crazy" - Bynum said

"I think it was out of place, out of line, for the moment and that kind of game that it was...but I don't think he intended to break his nose..he just tried to foul him kind of hard and got his nose..but again, I don't think that was the place to foul like that" - Gasol said

Perhaps the one positive that's come out of this story is the ironic ABC duel between the Lakers and Heat that awaits this coming Sunday. The media will certainly milk this cow, and if Kobe is able to play, the stage will be ultimately set.

This Sunday March 4th, the Miami Heat visit the Los Angeles Lakers 3:30PM ET on ABC