’twas a mere afternoon ago that Yahoo Sports’ Kelly Dwyer opined that anonymous sources (or, as Dwyer implied, Maverick Carter) conspiring to tar Miami coach Erick Spoelstra as an insecure browbeater would “make a martyr out of him yet”, that appears to be exactly what’s happened.  Dwyer’s Yahoo colleague, Adrian Wojnarowski expresses little shock that James and Carter, “planted a story and exposed themselves again as jokers of the highest order,” but can’t help but shake his head over the manner in which Dwyane Wade (œI™m not going to say he™s ˜my guy,™ but he™s my coach”) has turned on Spoelstra.

Wade™s always been loyal, and that™s why it was so surprising to witness him bail this fast on Spoelstra, whom Wade knows too well. Spoelstra is a good NBA coach. Everyone knows that Wade isn™t a star who plays hard all the time, knows that he takes plays off on defense. They know that Spoelstra did a terrific job coaching 90 victories out of that flawed Miami roster the previous two seasons.

As much as ever, the Heat need Wade to influence James. Only now, it™s clear James is influencing Wade. With Udonis Haslem out for the regular season, the locker room misses one of its vital voices. Now, Wade is struggling on the floor and James is the devil on his shoulder, whispering that he doesn™t need to be accountable, that there™s an easy fall guy for everyone: Spoelstra.

Those who know Wade well, who care about him, were disappointed Monday. When Spoelstra needed Wade to stand up for him, Wade never shrunk so small. Spoelstra was Wade™s guy, but Wade™s finding it much easier to align himself with James™ coward act than do the right thing. This was something that you™d expect out of Chris Bosh, who™s never been a leader, never a winner, but Wade?

œHe knows better than this, one of Wade™s former assistant coaches said. œI™m not saying he hasn™t changed some, but he knows right from wrong. And this is wrong.