“He’s Going to Be Special”: The Rise of Coby White
By Donte Chase Bridges | October 26th
“He’s going to be special” – Bull Guard Zach LaVine.
As Bulls players Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter Jr. spoke at the Bulls’ home opener, the camera pans to the Chicago Bulls bench where five starters waited in anticipation to play the reigning Champions Toronto Raptors. The first shot was a Miss by Wendell Carter Jr. The second shot was an offensive rebound and put back by Bulls G Zach LaVine. Toronto’s Fred Van Fleet countered with a three-point shot to go up by one point; then, Bulls’ PG Tomas Satoransky sprinted back to sink a 32 ft. Jumper, as if to return the favor.
As the Bulls jumped off to a better start then the last two games, a subtle tension came over the faces of the die-hard Bulls fans. Thousands of spectators could sense a new presence that hasn’t been felt in Chicago basketball since the reign of Derrick Rose.
Who is he? A rookie that has surpassed Michael Jordan for the most points scored by a freshman in North Carolina history. What is he? A 6 ‘5’guard that towers over most matchups at the point.
As his name was called 5 minutes into the first quarter, and the crowd erupted as he ripped off his sweats and entered the game, the bushy haired Phenom trotted into the game and immediately began to direct players to their right spots like a ten year veteran. Chicago Bulls fans, it’s time to welcome in a new era Bulls ‘basketball: This is the rise of Chicago Bulls PG Coby White. “I told y’all from the Jump I know how good he’s going to be, He’s going to continue to get better. We told him, when he’s in that second unit, it’s go time. When we step on the floor together, we’re dynamic. It’s going to be exciting, man. I really like him.”- Bulls Guard Zach LaVine.
Born in North Carolina, Coby White is a 6 ‘5’ guard that can overpower the strongest point guard and out-quick the fastest opposing player. In the 2019 NBA Combine, White was listed as being a defensive shutdown player, great fit for any system, and a relentless scoring machine.
At the start of the 2019 NBA preseason, first overall pick Zion Williamson was projected to be the Rookie of the Year. However, Coby White broke an NBA record as being the first rookie to average 20 points per game in pre-season since Michael Jordan.
“I have high expectations for myself. I want to be good in this league, and that’s what it’s going to take.” Said Bulls G Coby White.
Coby White has the heart, energy and basketball IQ that has gotten Bulls Head Coach Jim Boylen’s attention. “What I’ve been impressed with is his maturity level on the floor and how quickly he can kind of pick up things and grow. He’s not scared, which I love,” said Head Coach Jim Boylen. “He’s more physical than I thought this early. He’s a big body. He can play on the ball and off the ball. He shot the ball very well in camp. His physicality is what we hoped it would be; I didn’t know if it would come this fast. We’re thankful for him.”
Coby White has the one thing that can’t be developed in practice: The X factor. Veteran Bulls guard Kris Dunn has been a consistent presence in the Bulls’ back court for 3 years. It wasn’t until White’s emergence that Dunn found himself demoted from second-string all the way to third-string, allowing White to be the first person off the bench. Coby White has the skills, confidence, and floor general presence that makes his veteran teammates defer to the gifted rookie in crunch time moments.
The most important attribute of Coby White’s game is that he is 19 yrs. old with a ceiling that reaches beyond the sky. If White can continue being the sponge of knowledge his coaches’ brags about, then we may be having a discussion that sounds similar to this: Who was the better player, Kobe or Coby?
For more information go to https://www.nba.com/bulls/gameday/1920?g=20191026/TORCHI