Bulls’ Carlik Jones Sounds Off After Taking G League’s Top Individual Honor

Carlik Jones Bulls

Getty Chicago Bulls guard Carlik Jones handles the ball during a bout with the Denver Nuggets.

The Chicago Bulls‘ 2022-23 campaign — at least up until their forthcoming play-in bout with the Toronto Raptors — wasn’t exactly one marked by team or individual triumphs. Sure, DeMar DeRozan was an All-Star and Alex Caruso looked like a DPOY candidate at times, but 10th place and a sub-.500 record in the East was far from the goal.

Even as the Bulls dropped down a rung or three in the race for an NBA championship, though, one baller — second-year point-man Carlik Jones — managed to reach new heights as a pro.

In a combined 43 appearances during the Showcase Cup and the regular season for Chicago’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, Jones averaged 23.5 points, 7.1 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per outing. Meanwhile, he connected on 48.7% of his field-goal attempts and 36.9% of his tries from three-point range.

For his efforts, the former two-way player (he was converted to a standard deal in March) was recognized as the G League’s Most Valuable Player. And, very clearly, the accomplishment means a lot to him.

Bulls Guard Carlik Jones Speaks Out After Capturing G League MVP Honors

Getting all he could out of his time at the developmental level and getting recognized for it didn’t just happen by accident. Rather, it was the objective that Jones had set for himself before the campaign even began.

“To start the season it was a goal of mine,” Jones told CHGO Sports over the weekend. “I thought I had a pretty solid year last year. And my goal was to be on an active NBA roster to start this season. It didn’t happen that way, but I told myself that if I have to play in the G League again, I want to win MVP.”

For Jones, the simple fact that he was actually able to execute such a plan was just as significant and important as bringing home the trophy.

“It means a lot,” Jones said. “It just lets me know, you know I set my goal at the beginning of the year, I achieved it and now all the hard work has paid off.”

Jones Speaks Out on Being Overlooked & Overcoming Adversity

More than anything, Jones’ MVP win and his ability to finally lock down a full-time roster spot so late in the year was about not accepting what he had been given and, instead, reaching out and taking what he felt he deserved.

“I started here in preseason, and unfortunately I was waived,” Jones said. “But I stuck with it and they stuck with me. With developing me, staying close contact with me. It just means a lot. I didn’t complain, I respected the decision. Just put my head down and worked and grinded, and they decided to give me another chance and I’m forever grateful…

“My whole life I feel like a lot of things were looked over,” he said. “I just really appreciate the organization, the front office, my teammates. Them showing me love, them giving me the praises. It’s really all that matters to me. I appreciate the fans. Them showing me that love means the most.”

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