Patrick Kane walked into the United Center on Wednesday night just as he always does. But this time, he wasn't lacing up his skates, putting on his gear or scoring any goals.
Instead, he was sitting anxiously on the sidelines in a plaid shirt and Cubs hat, moments away from meeting one of his favorite athletes.
"I've just been a big LeBron [James] fan ever since he came into the league," Kane said after the Blackhawks' morning skate on Thursday. "I don't want to say I seemed like a super fan, but you're excited to meet him... Definitely something you won't forget for a long time."
Kane played the meeting off casually, but teammate Patrick Sharp -- who joined him at the game as the Bulls went on to defeat the Heat and end their 27-game win streak -- had a bit of a different story to tell.
"He was nervous, he wasn't talking very much courtside there, he knew he was gonna meet LeBron and get his picture taken, so he was a little antsy," Sharp said, poking some fun at No. 88.
But first and foremost, despite any personal feelings towards James, both Blackhawks were there to cheer on their United Center neighbors. For the first time this year, Kane and Sharp were excited to see a streak come to an end as the Bulls put a stop to the second-longest run in NBA history.
And as hockey players, how could Kirk Hinrich's take-down not be a favorite moment from the night? It sounds like Sharp was ready to give some scouts a call:
"I told him after the game I think we should get some hockey pads on him and put him on the penalty kill."