Though Pachulia and Korver slipped to the second spherical, they’ve had high-level careers, and so they share a distinctive bond with the different gamers from their class who proceed to plug alongside — for now, if not eternally.
“I have so much respect for those guys,” Pachulia mentioned. “I’m not as close to what they’ve done with the numbers or the stats. But as far as love of the game, I’m sure I can still definitely compete. There’s a reason why I’m still here.”
Back when all of it started, Wade heard James earlier than he really met him. It was the spring of 2003, and Wade was ready to be examined by medical doctors in a small room at the N.B.A. pre-draft camp in Chicago. Everyone knew about James, who had been a highschool phenom. But Wade, who was coming off two seasons at Marquette, was nonetheless interested in him.
“So I’m just in this room by myself, and in comes this loud kid with a bunch of people following him — and he’s loud,” Wade, 36, recalled in an interview. “So we eventually introduced ourselves, and then it was just me and him in there waiting, you know? Getting to know each other a little bit.”
Wade mentioned he may sense an immediate connection, although their dialog was lower quick when James was summoned for his examination first, leaving Wade to wait even longer. It was a sign, maybe, of James’s precocious grip on the league.
Pachulia, who had been taking part in in Turkey, arrived for the draft at Madison Square Garden in a new swimsuit. He didn’t obtain an invite to sit in the “green room,” which is often reserved for lottery picks, so he sat in the bleachers. But he was nonetheless anticipating to go in the first spherical after his agent had suggested towards his coming into the 2002 draft.
“Just wait another year,” Pachulia recalled his agent telling him. “It’ll be an easier draft in 2003.”