Dosunmu: Beverley has been a Chi-gantic help
DETROIT — Wearing the jersey of your hometown team is a unique opportunity.
Upon signing with the Bulls, Patrick Beverley said playing for Chicago was a dream come true. Ayo Dosunmu is another member of the Bulls who has the same understanding of what it means to play for your hometown team.
It has been less than a week since Beverley made his Bulls debut, but the two Chicago natives already are making plans.
“We’re going to spend some time [together] off the court just both being from Chicago,” Dosunmu said. “We talked about going to a state playoff game, or doing something like that.”
Dosunmu was 12 when Beverley made his NBA debut with the Rockets. As Dosunmu got older, he became more familiar with what Beverley meant to the high school basketball scene in Chicago.
“He’s 6-feet, 6-1 but he plays much bigger than that,” Dosunmu said. “He competes, he battles, he scraps. He’s had a very productive career because of those qualities.”
Coach Billy Donovan said that the younger players — Dosunmu, Patrick Williams, Coby White and Dalen Terry — all are eager to learn from the veterans. And the vets have embraced the role of mentor.
Dosunmu is like a sponge, constantly asking questions in an attempt to absorb every valuable tidbit he can, and Beverley has a healthy amount of them. He has played for five teams in his 11 NBA seasons and has played three years overseas.
There hasn’t been a difficult matchup Beverley has backed down from, and in the process he has accumulated a unique pulse on the league and his opponents.
Before Beverley signed with the Bulls there was talk about how bringing in a veteran point guard would impact Dosunmu’s minutes. After being selected by the Bulls with the 38th pick in the 2021 draft, Dosunmu has been thrust into a prominent role as a result of Lonzo Ball’s extended absence due to injuries.
But Dosunmu isn’t concerned with his minutes taking a hit. He’s locked in on the opportunity to learn from another Chicago product.
“I’m looking at ways to get better any way I can,” Dosunmu said. “That’s the type of person I am and the type of player I am. Him being here, I’m trying to pick his brain and learn as much as I can from his experience.”
Dosunmu is particularly benefiting from Beverley’s understanding of the intangible aspects of the game.
“It’s crazy because it’s things you wouldn’t think of,” Dosunmu said. “It’ll be the things that just go on in games. I can’t explain it, but the things that just happen naturally. During games, it’s the little things that he’ll help me with and give his opinion on.”
Williams left Tuesday’s game against the Raptors briefly after tweaking his right ankle. He ended up finishing the game, playing 22 minutes and scoring eight points on 3-for-5 shooting from the field to go with two steals and a rebound.
He was added to the team’s injury report ahead of the Bulls’ game Wednesday against the Pistons. Donovan wanted to make sure Williams felt well enough to play after the adrenaline of Tuesday’s game wore off. Williams was fine and scored 11 points in 28 minutes in the Bulls’ 117-115 victory.