Ris­ing Star Dunn headed for Hollywood

Chicago Sun-Times - - BULLS BEAT - BY JOE COW­LEY Staff Re­porter Email: jcow­ley@ sun­times. com

Point guard Kris Dunn and his min­utes re­stric­tion will be go­ing Hollywood after all.

Dunn was side­lined for al­most a month after land­ing face­first on a dunk in a Jan. 17 loss to the War­riors. He dis­lo­cated his two front teeth and was in the con­cus­sion pro­to­col un­til Wed­nes­day, when he made his re­turn against the Rap­tors.

That was good enough for the Bulls to give him the OK to head to Los An­ge­les and par­tic­i­pate in the Ris­ing Stars game — along with rookie Lauri Markka­nen — but it came with a few con­di­tions.

“He’s still work­ing his way back into shape, so he can’t go out there in that game and play 30- plus min­utes,’’ coach Fred Hoiberg said.

“At the same time, I’m ex­cited for him, I’m ex­cited for Lauri. Go out and ex­pe­ri­ence that week­end. It’s hope­fully some­thing where they can en­joy them­selves, have some fun, de­com­press a lit­tle bit. But, Kris, if some­body is on a break­away, let’s not spring back. Let’s stay at half­court and try to get a dunk.’’

Dunn didn’t need to be re­minded twice.

“My team and coach­ing staff made it hap­pen,’’ Dunn said of play­ing in the show­case for first- and sec­ond- year play­ers. “They put me in the right sit­u­a­tion and al­lowed me to be the player I could be for the team.

‘‘ I’m re­ally do­ing it all for my fam­ily. Just al­low them to have that ex­pe­ri­ence, al­low them to have fun.

“My sis­ters, they’re young. So they might see some celebri­ties out there. That’s what they’ve been talk­ing about. So it’s all about the fam­ily.’’

Dunn was hop­ing to at­tend a few par­ties but said he was still un­cer­tain if he’d stick around and watch the ac­tual All- Star Game on Sun­day.

“I haven’t de­cided,’’ Dunn said. “I might try to go to the beach.’’

As far as the star search, Dunn was all in fa­vor but with a caveat.

“Lil Uzi, Kanye West, the Kar­dashi­ans, all the stuff you see on TV,’’ Dunn said when asked which stars his sis­ters wanted to see. “Hope­fully, they get to see them.

“I told them, ‘ If you see them, go get that pic­ture.’ Now if any­body puts their hands on you, I got you.’’

Sur­prise, sur­prise

Markka­nen also will par­tic­i­pate in the Skills Chal­lenge on Satur­day.

“I’m prac­tic­ing a lit­tle bit,’’ Markka­nen said. “I’m do­ing the drills but not too bad. I’m not wor­ried about that. I know ev­ery­thing I can do on those drills. So I should be good.’’

Be­fore Karl- An­thony Towns won the skills com­pe­ti­tion in the 2015- 16 sea­son, it was dom­i­nated by guards.

Towns changed that, then Kristaps Porzingis won it last sea­son.

The 7- foot Markka­nen thinks he has shown he’s a better ath­lete than many thought com­ing out of col­lege.

“I don’t think peo­ple were ex­pect­ing that from me,’’ Markka­nen said.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ sun­times_ hoops.


Bulls point guard Kris Dunn, who had eight points, drives around Rap­tors guard Kyle Lowry on Wed­nes­day night.

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