When the Chicago Bulls signed Dwyane Wade to a two-year, $47.5 million deal last summer, the move caused a ton of excitement within Chicago’s fan base. After trading hometown hero Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, the Bulls were determined to find a second scorer to complement their all-star Jimmy Butler. His last season with the Miami Heat, Wade averaged 19 points and 4.6 rebounds on 45.6% shooting, leading his team one win shy of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals. Since the Bulls missed the playoffs that same year, their front office looked to add the savvy veteran rather than opting for a rebuild. His decision was loosely reminiscent of his former teammate LeBron James‘ return to his hometown
In team sports, there's a defensive strategy that's been in play for decades, colloquially known as “anybody but him.” In baseball, teams intentionally walking Barry Bonds, lest risking the San Francisco Giants slugger beat them with the long ball.
Clarence Gaines Jr. walked into the Quest gymnasium in Chicago for the draft combine earlier this month wearing a brown/beige/orange-checkered African gown known as a dashiki. Gaines avoided all personal contact, darting through a phalanx of scouts, general managers and media. He silently took a seat in the metal bleachers. He sat alone, as is his custom — just like his mentor, late Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, known as “The Sleuth.’’ “Bit of an odd duck,’’ one NBA scout commented, “but he has our respect.’’ Gaines, the Knicks’ vice president of player personnel and Phil Jackson’s most trusted adviser, does not treat the gym like a cocktail party, rather a place to zero in on the finest