It was the 26h of December and the Chicago Bulls, who just played on Christmas Day were about to tip off their second game in two days. Richard Hamilton, the veteran guard who had come to the Bulls to be the final piece of a championship puzzle, told me to listen up.
This season, Hamilton said, was going to be like no other. Teams would need to be more patient than ever before, players would, too; they were about to put their bodies through hell. Not just the three days in three nights, but the four games in five nights, the seven games in 10 nights, the weeks without practice and necessary rest and recovery.