Ring, the minimum. After he flew to Chicago
Ring, Ring. Ring, Ring. “hello?” “Jordan, the bulls want to sign you to their active roster!” “Really! Finally I’m being noticed!” “Don’t get too excited you are more than likely just going to be a reserve, and you are only being signed because of the recent injury to Justin Holiday. By the way you are being sign for the minimum for 1 year.” “I don’t care, at least I’ll get a chance to prove myself.” “Well tomorrow come to my office and we can get you officially signed.” “Be there tomorrow.” Jordan was full of joy but nervous as always. This wasn’t the first time his agent called him to tell him a team signed him and he was not looking to getting cut or not resigned again. After the contract was finalized he would receive a one year deal for the minimum. After he flew to Chicago he got to practice with a game coming the next day. Jordan Cohen was led to the trainers and evaluated quickly and then rushed out to the court where they were warming up. I remember some of the players were focusing on things they did poorly from yesterday’s game against the Heat, while others were just shooting around. He saw coach Fred Hoiberg and assistant coach Jim Boylen discussing gameplan successes and failures. Jordan decided to go introduce himself to coach Hoiberg when they were done talking. “Hello coach, I’m Jordan” “I know who you are, I signed you. You’re going to be running with the third team, but I expect you to make our second team by the end of the week.” responded coach. “Yes sir, I will. I was wondering what type of defensive and offensive formation we run.” “You should know that already.” “Excuse me?” “You should have been studying tape all day yesterday” “My agent must have forgotten to tell me that.” “You shouldn’t have to be told. Just listen to everything I say and do what you are supposed to, nothing more, nothing less.” “OK, yes sir” Replied Jordan. That was not a great first impression I immediately thought. He then introduced himself to the other guards there. He stuck around me due to our similar personalities, play styles, and we were both new that year. Although I had been there since the beginning of the season. Jordan and I had decided to have a one-on-one game to 15. The game took about 16 minutes and I hit a three for the win 18-16. I could tell that he was immediately one of the better defenders there, as I was considered the best defender for smaller player like point guards and shooting guards. “Good game Kris.” Jordan said as he high fived me “Thanks you too” I Replied “I would have won if I had a better three point shot.” “But you don’t, so I won.” after we got some water coach called in practice and they started with a two on two, pick and roll drill. Jordan was paired with Nikola Miroti? and they dominated pretty heavily, and got 2nd. After that we did contested finishing, and help defence. Then the scrimmage started. They first had the third team play the first team. So it was Jerian Grant, Zach Lavine, Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, and Robin Lopez vs Kay Felder, David Nwaba, Jordan Cohen, Quincy Pondexter, Cristiano Felicio. Jordan had to guard the best offensive player on our team Zach Lavine and he did a great job. The game was to 21 and Zach only had 4 points, but Jordan only had 2. I could tell he was struggling offensively, he knew what to do, and ran the offense well, but couldn’t score one on one. After practice we shot around for another hour and then headed home. The day we played the suns, we were winning by 10 in the 3rd when coach put in Jordan. He had to guard Devin Booker and did a great job, Devin only scored 2 points while Jordan was guarding him, Jordan didn’t get any points for himself, but got 4 assist in the 6 minutes he was out there. After the game we went to the locker room we were now 6-13 after that win, there was a clear want to win, even though the team is in a rebuilding mentality. Jordan was approached by Shawn Respert about how he needed to put at least an extra hour everyday of three point shooting, and mid-range shooting. Jordan really took that to heart and asked me to stay after practice to shoot with him from now on. The next day after practice Jordan, the shooting coach Mike Wilhelm, and I shoot and got criticizing on our shot. We spent about two hours after practice only working on mid, and deep range shooting. Next up we played the Nugget’s and Jordan got ten minutes and locked down Gary Harris and Jamal Murray, he also scored 3 points and had 5 assists. After we stayed at the arena and shot around for an hour, Then headed home. Coach had decided to move Jordan and I to the starting line-up because I was averaging more assists and playing better defence than Jerian Grant, and Jordan was playing great defence, so they moved him up to help guard the opposing team’s best player. The next game was against the Kings and Jordan and I dominated. I scored 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists. Jordan scored 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists. Buddy Hield was guarded by Jordan and he only scored 10 points. Next up was the Cav’s, this was big because Jordan and I were considered two of the best defenders in the Eastern Conference, and Lebron James, and Isaiah Thomas were easily considered to be two of the best offensive players in the Eastern Conference. After the first quarter Jordan was getting bullied in the post by Lebron, but still doing a great job, Lebron had 4 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. Jordan had 2 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas had 6 points, 2 assists, and 0 rebounds, while I had 4 points, 4 assists, and 1 rebound. It was 28-22 Cavs and the second quarter was starting. It was inbounded and I brought it up the court, I called Denzel Valentine for the pick, he rolled and I through the alley-oop and Lebron blocked it hard and Denzel went down with an injury, he was out for the game with broken rib. End of the second and Cavs were up 54-49. Going into the third quarter there was a lot of pressure on Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen for providing the offence, at this point in the game they were responsible for 33 of the bulls points while we were responsible for 11 of the team’s points. It was tightly contested and as the game went on you could see the fatigue in both teams. The third quarter provided some closely contested action, and to this point Lebron was carrying the team with 14 points, 11 assists, and 14 rebounds. The third quarter ended with a close game of 79-77 Cavs up. It was a battle of the defence in the 4th with 22 points scored in the first 10 minutes leaving 5 minutes left in the game and Zach Lavine was posting a career high 41 points at this point and was putting our team on his back. There were some back to back threes between us and the game continued to get more and more exciting. The game was winding down and it was 88-87 Cavs one minute seven seconds left on the clock. I was bringing the ball up and I kicked it out to Zach Lavine who took a three and missed, but Jordan got the rebound and put it back up to put us up by two. On the Cavs next possession Lebron passed the ball to Dwane Wade, who immediately swung the ball to Isaiah Thomas. Isaiah then drove and put up an acrobatic lay-up, and was almost blocked by Robin Lopez, this put the Cavaliers up by one with 34 seconds left on the clock. I brought the ball up and drove then kicked it out to Jordan at the three point line who pump faked and D-Wade flew by, there was a wide open lane and Jordan exploded to the hoop and dunked on Jae Crowder. The whole stadium erupted and everybody was screaming. “Jordan Cohen’s just jumped out of this building and postered Crowder!” the announcer said with excitement. There was only 14 seconds left on the clock and the Cavs, down by one, called timeout to set-up a play. Isaiah Thomas brought the ball up and took two quick steps toward the hoop and then had a far step back and took the 17 foot jumper while I heavily contested him. He missed but Lebron got the rebound and dribble out of pressure. Jordan was sprinting across the court and as Lebron shot the ball Jordan jumped with all his might and block Lebron as time expired. From that moment forward Jordan Cohen’s, Zach Lavine, and I became the focal point and future of the franchise.