Dwyane Wade says he first dreamed of playing for the Bulls at 9 years old, but the reality of seeing the future Hall of Famer in a Chicago Bulls jersey after 13 years in Miami is going to be an adjustment for everybody — Wade included.
“It’s really not the jersey. It’s the same material, so it feels the same,” Wade said with a smile during the Bulls’ media day on Monday.
As happy as Butler and various Bulls personnel are that Wade is in town, Wade seems happiest of all that he gets to wear the jersey he grew up dreaming about.
“1991, when the Bulls won their first championship,” Wade said of when he first envisioned being with the Bulls. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I can do that, I can be out there with those guys.’ I could go out in my backyard, I see the snow, it didn’t matter. I’d try to emulate the things that my favorite players were doing. At 9 years old, that’s where my vision started. Not only to play in the NBA, but to play for the Bulls.”
“This is the first time my team has gone the extra mile to really take care of me both on and off the court,” he said. “They even care about how well I sleep. They just care about me so much.”
Lin can appear shy at times, but he doesn’t hide how badly he wants to lead as a starting point guard in the NBA.
“I always wanted to be a leader,” he said. “Three months after I joined the Rockets, James Harden was on board so he became the leader. The situation with the Lakers wasn’t good either. I just didn’t have the opportunity to prove myself. But I think I have a pretty good chance this time.”
Head coach Kenny Atkinson considers Lin to be the Nets’ Eli Manning. He believes in Lin’s leadership and has asked Lin to be the commander of the Nets. Lin has responded by emphasizing some of the important goals that the Nets players need to focus on.
“Defense is really important,” Lin said. “Team chemistry is really important and this training camp is really important!”
But besides his focus on basketball, Lin is apparently enjoying city life.
“My favorite restaurant in Manhattan is a sushi restaurant. I wish I could eat there every single day, but I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive,” he said, laughing.