Facing his AAU coach Chris Paul, Bulls rookie Coby White posts 35 points off bench

Jack Baer
Coby White faced his old coach on Tuesday. He did pretty well. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

As it turns out, Chicago Bulls rookie Coby White is a heck of a lot more than just some wild hair and a viral reaction.

The seventh overall pick in last year’s draft continued a breakout stretch on Tuesday with a career-high 35 points off the bench in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It was his third straight game with 30-plus points off the bench, after two 33-point nights against the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns.

A dynamic point guard out of North Carolina, White has alternated between brilliant and quiet in his rookie season, but the upside the Bulls were hoping for is still clearly there. Per NBA.com, White is the first rookie to score 30-plus points and make five-plus threes in three straight games in NBA history.

That kind of performance drew some notice from White’s peers.

White was actually facing a former coach in the game, too. It wasn’t anyone on the Thunder sideline, however: It was the Hall of Fame point guard opposite him, Chris Paul.

Both White and teammate Wendell Carter Jr. played for Paul’s AAU team before college, and White in particular shares a bond with Paul after receiving support from veteran when he lost his father to cancer. White and Carter received some silly criticism after posing for a photo with Paul after a previous game, but White had even more reason to smile on Tuesday.

“It’s still surreal to see Coby and Wendell,” Paul said after the game. “I told Coby he wasn’t going to score 33 tonight. He didn’t, he scored 35, which I didn’t know until he told me at the end of the game. I told him he only had like six or something on me. I watch him play just about every time we don’t play.”

Paul also shouted out White on Twitter after the game, though he naturally had to mention his team did win the game.

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