Chicago Bulls rookie Coby White wasn’t invited to this month’s NBA’s Rising Stars Game — and the snub seems to have lit a fire under the lightning-quick guard.
The No. 7 pick from North Carolina has been on a historic tear over the past week, which has renewed a call for the dismal Bulls to move their young guard into the starting lineup during yet another lost season.
Over the past three games, the 20-year-old guard with the flowing hair has joined Zach LaVine as the Bulls only consistent offense. Last Saturday, White scored 33 points against Phoenix. The next night against Washington, he again scored 33. And on Wednesday night, he scored a career-high 35 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder and his mentor Chris Paul.
“He is finding his rhythm out there, the kid is good, really good,” LaVine said.
White is the first rookie in NBA history to come off the bench to score 30 or more points in consecutive games.
And the bouncy guard is the Bulls’ first rookie since Michael Jordan to post three straight games of 30 points or more.
Despite White’s personal success over the past three games, the Bulls won just once.
Highly criticized Bulls head coach Jim Boylen continues to start the game with White watching from the bench. When White is asked about that decision, he gives the expected answer a young player would give.
“No, I feel like I am in a good position. This year for me wasn’t about starting, it’s about me getting better over the season.”
Right now, White says playing at the end of the game is much more important than starting.
“Obviously, you want to be at the end of the game to try to finish for your team,” White added. “For me, it means a lot to finish the game.”
If you were to take a vote from the fans, they would love White to have his name announced with the starters by the Bulls public announcer when the lights go down and Alan Parsons’ “Sirius” begins to play.
For now, White will try to continue this scoring binge Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. And it will be off the bench.