A hard foul, the kind that sends previously functional pickup runs into a shouty standoff death spiral. A 5-foot cushion on the perimeter, with overt disrespect masked as pity. Taunts of the printable — He’s soft, let him shoot — and unprintable variety. An edict delivered as a matter of fact: Freshmen — all freshman — are required to carry the upperclassmen’s bags.
This is The Test. Or parts of it, anyway. Probably.
It’s a tricky, shifty thing, this Mike Morgan Authentic Jersey test — tough to define in concrete terms. It’s not, technically speaking, an exam — though it also kind of is. There are no guaranteed questions and no sure answers. Even the name is informal. You can be “tested,” but you can also be “challenged.” You don’t necessarily pass the test so much as “react correctly,” as Kansas senior Landen Lucas said, with some care. Correct reaction requires fluency in a social language only elite athletes speak.
Dwyane Wade confirmed before Thursday’s game that he received Pat Riley’s email — but he hadn’t read it yet.
“Worst basketball game I ever played in Nick Vannett Authentic Jersey my life,” Wade said with a chuckle. “I couldn’t wait until it was over. It’s just weird. You’re going against guys — it just seemed like we were just playing in the playoffs together.
“Just a good environment though, man. The fans were great. I appreciate the ovation, the cheers. The things that they were saying, I appreciate it all. But the game itself was weird.”
Wade, who spent 13 seasons in Miami, spoke openly in recent days about how much he wanted to win this game. It marked the Bulls’ only regular-season appearance in Miami. After struggling to find his rhythm throughout the night, Wade calmly drained two free throws with 13.7 seconds left that helped secure the Bulls’ victory. His teammates and coaches said they were happy he was able to earn a victory against his old team.
“He’s so calm about it,” said Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler. “Nothing gets to him. He came in here to do a job, and he got it done. You know, emotions are rushing, but he’s a professional, Hall of Famer, but he doesn’t show it. He goes out there and competes, plays basketball the right way and leads us to victories. That’s what you ask from him each and every day, and he brings it each and every day, and I’m glad we got this one for him.”