Must Listen: Coby White and Patrick Williams Discuss Their Long-Time Friendship
The Chicago Bulls fell in heartbreaking fashion to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. But they wouldn’t have even been in a position to have their hearts broken without Coby White and Patrick Williams.
The two youngsters combined for 25 points off the bench on a 7-11 performance from behind the arc. Williams also added 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists to the box score on his +13 night. Meanwhile, White snatched 6 rebounds, added 5 assists, and poked the ball away twice for a +5 showing. We saw another plus performance from each of these two in a big victory for the Denver Nuggets two games early. Williams, in particular, shined with 18 points on a highly efficient 8-9 shooting effort.
Last night, their contributions were a bit more modest (combined 14 pts, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2-4 from behind the arc), but the broader point remains: If the Bulls want any chance of locking in a Play-In Tournament spot over their final few weeks of the season, more of the same would be great from these two.
Now, whether or not they can actually get that is a fair question. But I think it’s fair to say White and Williams be motivating each other to get the job done.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson on the Bulls Talk Podcast, Williams and White raved about each other. The two sat down to dissect their North Carolina roots and talk about their long-time bond. It was a feel-good conversation in a season that has otherwise been jam-packed with frustrating storylines.
“It’s just like anything else, the more you’re around somebody, the more things you go through together,” Williams said of his relationship with White. “Obviously, going through what we’ve gone through. We’ve both been injures together … the playoff series, the rush of emotions going through that. Our season last year was a big rush of emotion or change of emotions. He’s always kind of been the person whenever I’m feeling something and I’m like, ‘I need to talk about it.’ It’s always good to talk to someone who understands but they also, a lot of times, have a solution.”
Williams praised White for his guidance upon first entering the NBA, as well as his ability to always keep things light in the locker room. Meanwhile, White talked about Williams’ personal growth over the past few years, highlighting how he’s been happy to see him come out of his shell on and off the court.
“He’s opened up a lot from when he first got here to now. The amount he has opened up is amazing to me because I knew him personally when everybody else didn’t. So everybody else kind of was like, ‘he’s really quiet, he doesn’t talk, you never know what he’s thinking. You never know what’s going on in his head whenever he’s out there on the court, even when he’s in the facility you just never know.’ And I was like, he just doesn’t really know y’all. He just has to open up,” White said.
While the interview had its fair share of giggling between the two, I was honestly really impressed with the candor. You could tell how happy the two were to go from battling in AAU basketball to playing on the same NBA roster. And you could also tell how just much faith the two have in each other’s on-court ability.
“You already know his ceiling,” White said of Williams. “I tell you all the time: Superstar. Multiple times. The proof is in the pudding. It’s going to come. He’s too talented, too big, too strong not to be.”
Williams was just as complimentary:
“He has a lot of things that you just can’t teach,” Williams said. “I think that’s a big part of it. But then also he wants to get better at the things that he wasn’t so good at. I think this year he’s defending his a** off. And, last year, I think teams would try to pick on him … I don’t know if that gets credit enough.”
Anyway, props to Johnson for getting those two together and asking some wonderful questions. I only shared a few quotes, so make sure you go listen to the full discussion here or below. They talk way more about their high school days, Williams’ draft night experience, and what it’s been like to share minutes in the second unit.