We keep getting more signs that energetic Chicago Bulls rookie Dalen Terry simply “gets it”. First, the 18th-overall pick relayed just how personal coming to Chicago was for him. Then he showed it by selecting No. 25 as his jersey number in honor of late Chicago hoops legend Benji Wilson.
Terry’s enthusiasm has also taken the form of wearing a Dennis Rodman shirt for his pre-game attire, another tenacious figure in Bulls history.
But the rook isn’t just limiting himself to former Chicago or Bulls legends.
He’s honoring current ones too while also showing love to another late basketball hero. All of these are signs of Terry’s energy and enthusiasm as the Bulls have made a point to target that type of player.
Gotta Be the Shoes
Terry took part in an official rookie photo shoot prior to the Bulls’ summer league finale against the Philadelphia 76ers on July 16. He donned the Bulls’ red “icon” jerseys for the shoot. But it was his footwear that caught most of the attention.
The rookie wore matching red Nike Kobe 1 Protro TV PEs also known as the “DeMar DeRozan’s”.
DeRozan debuted the shoe on April 4, 2018 while with the Toronto Raptors against the Boston Celtics. He finished that game with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal as the Raptors won 96-78.
He wore the all-white, or “Noise Cancelling”, versions on the night he dropped a season-high 50 points – including 10 points in the fourth quarter – and lifted the Bulls past the Los Angeles Clippers 135-130 in overtime on March 31.
The three-time All-NBA selection has been vocal about the late Bryant’s impact on his career.
Terry said in his introductory press conference that he watched “so much” DeRozan this past season.
He has averaged 14.0 points through four games with 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 56.3% from the field and 42.9% on three-pointers. The knock to be made is that Terry is also averaging 4.5 turnovers. But his steady progression throughout the summer has been a nice sign for a Bulls team that is still trying to navigate some health issues.
A Theme for Terry
The positive reviews about Terry have been as consistent as his ability to rise to the moment. Bulls general manager Marc Eversley cited Terry’s energy on draft night while team vice president Arturas Karnisovas and head coach Billy Donovan have said similar things.
Donovan went so far as to challenge the 20-year-old to keep his energy up through the ups and downs of an 82-game NBA season.
Terry put forth his best effort of the summer in an 89-73 Bulls win over the Charlotte Hornets.
He dropped 20 points, five rebounds, two steals, one block, and one assist shooting 66.7% overall and canning both of his triples.
As NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer wrote, Terry “was an agent of defensive chaos all game, pestering ball-handlers, deflecting countless passes, and even flying in from behind to break up an alley-oop attempt”.
While discussing signing his max contract, teammate Zach LaVine said that he had the chance to meet with Terry in Vegas.
“Very exciting, very competitive kid.”
We saw that competitiveness on display when he picked up a technical foul during the Bulls’ blowout 101-69 loss to the New York Knicks. Terry had a curt response for Bulls.com’s Sam Smith who asked why he committed the infraction.
The Bulls could likely do without the foul. But the mindset to never let anything be easy for your opponent when on defense is one they need to permeate the entire roster.