May 1 (UPI) — Dwyane Wade stood up for Miami Heat fans after Philadelphia 76ers forward Ersan Ilyasova took a swipe at them.
Ilyasova dissed Heat fans Monday when asked about playoff atmospheres. His Sixers just completed an Eastern Conference series win against the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena and are facing the Boston Celtics in the next round, with games at the fabled TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
“When were were in Miami, the gym was half-empty,” Ilyasova told reporters. “But when you got to Boston, you will feel it. Even in the regular season, you know when you play that team, the arena is full, and they’re really committed fans.”
Wade took exception to the slight, responding on Twitter.
“Heat Nation, let me apologize for this man that most of you don’t even know,” he wrote. “He doesn’t know any better.”
The Heat had a home attendance of 19,812 in Game 3 and 19,804 in Game 4. Those games were both sellouts.
Philadelphia had sellout home attendances of 21,171, 20,617 and 20,753 in the first-round series against the Heat.
Boston beat Philadelphia 117-101 on Monday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series, with a home sellout attendance of 18,624.
TD Garden has a capacity of 19,580 for basketball. AmericanAirlines Arena holds 19,600 and the Wells-Fargo Center 21,000 for seated fans.
The Sixers and Celtics face off in Game 2 at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Boston. Ilyasova is averaging 10 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and one steal per game this postseason.