King played power forward and center for the Bulls from 1989-1994, winning three NBA championships in that span. The former Bulls big man has served as an analyst since 2006, and has worked for NBC Sports prior to his current gig working on the Bulls’ TV broadcast.
King also hosts the Gimme the Hot Sauce podcast, in which he talks all things Bulls, and on the January 23 episode, King took a minute to explain why he was never a fan of rumors White could be traded, which ran rampant after a disappointing first three seasons.
After starting 71 games for Chicago over the previous two seasons, the Bulls now have White coming off the bench in a reserve shooting guard role, and while his minutes are down as a result — he’s averaging 21.1 minutes per game, a career low — there have been several noticeable improvements to his game that shouldn’t go unnoticed. King thinks those improvements should squelch those trade rumors for good.
Stacey King on Coby White: He’s Making a ‘Huge Difference’
White is also scoring less than he has in the past, averaging 8.4 points a game, but he’s shooting a career-high 43.5% from the floor, and he has been noticeably more efficient both as a scorer and as a defender.
White’s ball handling has also gotten loads better, and King had a strong message for the folks 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? Everybody was talking about: Trade Coby, trade Coby. What did I tell you, America? What did I tell you about the kid? I told you he was gonna be better, I told you he was gonna shoot the ball, I told you his handles are better. And now you look at him, he comes in there, makes a huge difference — and he’s kinda eating into the minutes of some of these other guards.”
White Is Fine With Making Slow, Steady Progress
“I’ve still got a long ways to go, I feel like, but as long as I’m trending in the right direction that’s all I really care about,” White told NBC Sports in December.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound White noted that after the Bulls’ elimination in the opening round of the playoffs last year courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks, he immediately went to work on improving multiple aspects of his game.
“When we lost in the playoffs and I watched the rest of the playoffs, I focused on the defensive end when I was watching the games,” White added. “My biggest thing was positioning, being in the right position, being the low man (in pick-and-roll coverage), being in the gaps. Just being in the right position to have my teammate’s back. And another thing is just focusing on players’ tendencies. Catching the first dribble with square hips, cut him off, and then I think a big thing that helped me was this summer I got in the weight room a lot, so I got a lot stronger and it’s helped me on that end of the court.”
Most recently, in the Bulls’ 111-100 win over the Atlanta Hawks on January 23, White scored 10 points while also dishing out 3.0 assists and hauling in 3.0 rebounds in 22 minutes. If he can continue to be productive in limited minutes, he could be sticking around in the Windy City for a while.