Chicago Bulls guard Coby White has shown some serious signs of growth in recent months and Stacey King is there for it.
King played power forward and center for the Bulls from 1989 to 1994, during which time he won three NBA championships. The former Bulls big man has been an analyst since 2006 and worked for NBC Sports prior to his current stint on the Bulls TV show.
King also hosts the podcast “Gimme the Hot Sauce,” where he talks about all things cops, and on the January 23 episode, King took a minute to explain why he’s never been a fan of rumors that Young could be traded, which was widespread disappointment after the first three seasons.
After starting 71 games for Chicago over the past two seasons, the Bulls now have White off the bench in a reserve shooting guard role, and while his minutes have declined as a result – he’s averaging 21.1 minutes per game, a career low – there were several noticeable improvements to his game that shouldn’t go unnoticed. King believes these improvements should quash these trade rumors for good.
White is also scoring fewer goals than in the past, averaging 8.4 points per game, but he’s shooting a career-high 43.5% from the floor and he was noticeably more efficient both as a goalscorer and as a defender.
White’s ball handling has gotten a lot better as well, and King had a strong message for people who wanted the Bulls to trade the young guard.
“Coby White – can’t say enough about him” king said. “Remember I told people in the very beginning, before the season even started? Everyone was talking: Trade Coby, trade Coby. What did I tell you America? What did I tell you about the child? I told you he’ll be better, I told you he’ll shoot the ball, I told you his grips are better. And if you look at him now, he comes in there, makes a big difference – and he kind of eats into the minutes of some of these other guards.”
“I still have a long way to go, I think, but as long as I’m headed in the right direction, that’s all I really care about,” White told NBC Sports in December.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound whiteman noted that after the Bulls were knocked out in the opening round of the playoffs last year, thanks to the Milwaukee Bucks, he immediately went about improving several aspects of his game.
“When we lost the playoffs and I watched the rest of the playoffs, I focused on the defensive end as I watched the games,” White added. “My biggest thing was positioning, being in the right position, being the low man (in the pick and roll coverage), being in the gaps. I’m just in the right position to support my team-mate. And another thing is to just focus on player tendencies. Catching the first square-hipped dribble, cutting it off, and then I think a big thing that helped me was I’ve been in the weight room a lot this summer, so I got a lot stronger and it really got to me at that end of the space helped.”
Most recently, in the Bulls’ 111-100 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 23, White had 10 points while giving 3.0 assists and rebounding 3.0 in 22 minutes.