Dealing with migraines has been a quiet battle Dwyane Wade has dealt with the last few years, as most of the attention has been placed on conserving the precious time of great basketball his body has left to give.
The migraines first crept up before the Charlotte game last week, but seemingly came back in full force Wednesday night during the Bulls’ 101-99 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Only playing 22 minutes, Wade scored 16 points but admitted having trouble seeing the rim or even recognizing his wife as Gabrielle Union was sitting courtside.
“I had a headache before the game,” Wade said. “I took a fall in the second half but I guess the way my body jerked and reacted kind of triggered my headache back and I lost a little vision in my eye. So I came back out on the court and couldn’t see the rim. My wife was talking, I couldn’t see her.”
Wade left the bench to go to the locker room in the second quarter but it looked like he was holding his finger after a fall. Turns out it was the migraines that he was trying to battle through, and after a stint in the third quarter, he went back to the locker room—being deemed questionable for the rest of the night.
“He said, ‘Coach, I need one, I’m having trouble with my vision. I got him out and doc and the trainer said he was out for the night,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It was the same thing we had a couple of days ago but unfortunately he suffered the migraine during the game, and could not go back in.”
Wade made plans to try to get back in action if the game went to the five-minute overtime period, but Jimmy Butler sent everybody with the Bulls home happy with the buzzer-beater.
While in the locker room, he received treatment that hopefully will alleviate the extreme symptoms that can often plague an athlete for days at a time. The Bulls have a back to back Friday and Saturday against the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks, respectively.
“I decided to come back out and put some ice on my neck and take some medicine and try to get my neck massaged, because it’s muscular when it happens like that,” Wade said. “But I was fortunate enough that I was able to watch the game and see the way that we closed it on the defensive end of the floor. And obviously offensively, giving Jimmy the ball, everyone doing their job and just getting out of the way.”
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Wade ran to the court to congratulate his teammate, knowing Butler was essentially alone for most of the night.
“When I came back in the locker room, they asked me if I wanted to say the night’s over. I said, no, keep me questionable because they may need me for overtime,” Wade said. “So I was in there trying to prepare myself for overtime and we got the opportunity. I asked the trainers, is Jimmy gonna win it or are we going to overtime? And they said, he’s gonna win it.”
After Wade closed the game two nights ago with a crosscourt steal and dunk against the Pacers, it was the young Jedi’s turn—and Wade couldn’t have been more pleased for Butler to have his moment.
“Just to see him make the shot, his confidence and swagger down the stretch was big. We needed it,” Wade said. “This guy’s been having an unbelievable year, and it’s a fitting that he’d hit a shot like that, and win the game like that. I love to see the growth in him. I’m proud of him, happy for him. And then we obviously needed a win as a team, so it was all that combined.”