On advice from Rose, Beverley focused on embracing his return to Chicago

Patrick Beverley knew returning to Chicago to play for the Bulls would be emotional, potentially overwhelming.

So he decided to take advice from a good friend who lived the same experience, Derrick Rose.

"To come here after him, kind of represent the city the right way and embrace it a little bit more, that's been my thing - just embracing it, man," Beverley said Monday at the Advocate Center. "That's some advice he gave me, that he said he wishes he would have done more when he was here is embrace the city."

Beverley, 34, has been back in town less than a week, joining the Bulls after getting traded by the Lakers and released by Orlando. So far, the Bulls are 2-0 and it appears the veteran leadership and defensive focus are exactly what the team needed.

The West Side native has been taking it all in, from a variety of different perspectives.

"I never feel it until I leave practice or the game," Beverley said with a big smile. "Then I feel like, 'Oh shoot, I'm at the crib.' I can ride past Marshall (High School), I can go to Jimmy's and get me a polish before I hit the plane. You know what I'm saying?

"My little spots that a lot of people even from Chicago don't know about. I get a thrill out of taking my lunch from RPM Italian and eating it on Lake Shore. I get a thrill out of that, sitting in the car eating my lunch, looking at Lake Shore. It's been a different vibe. At night I can just chill, sit in the back of my car and just look at the city."

Born in 1988, Beverley is old enough to remember the Bulls' championship era, when the whole city was locked in on what Michael Jordan would do next.

His view of Jordan was usually on a small television his grandmother would sit on the porch of her home.

"We couldn't really afford tickets," Beverley said. "The playoffs were always the summer time, so the weather changed a lot. She's got the TV right there on the porch. My granddad, rest in peace, he's a good soul. He wore a Chicago Bulls jersey every single day. Every single day."

Beverley said his grandfather finally switched to a Houston Rockets jersey once his grandson landed in the NBA in 2013, after two years at Arkansas and three overseas.

"Reese Morris, he used to do security at the grammar schools, the public schools," Beverley said. "You talk to anybody, he wore that dang jersey everywhere, man. God bless his soul.

"My neighborhood was a neighborhood of basketball players. The Bulls, they were winning so much, it became natural. 'What are we going to do this championship?'"

Another well-known Marshall High School basketball player, "Hoop Dreams" star Arthur Agee, once called Beverley a point guard-sized Dennis Rodman. Since joining the Bulls, Beverley has helped spur a defensive revival. The Bulls have posted blowout wins over Brooklyn and Washington, holding consecutive opponents below 90 points for the first time since 2017.

"I think it's something we needed," Zach LaVine said of Beverley's arrival. "Having his type of mentality, regardless of his stats in the game. He impacts the game in so many other ways, is vocal, energy, talking, effort."

The Bulls have a chance to help their playoff push Tuesday at Toronto. As of Monday morning, the Raptors held the ninth spot in the East, with the Bulls 11th, a game-and-a-half back.

"I've just been happy with the way we've been defending," Beverley said. "Want to continue doing what we're doing. Let's not put too much pressure on us. Just remember we have some of the best jobs in the world, going out there and having fun, I think that's our mindset."

Beverley's high school career ended in 2006 with a 69-56 loss to Derrick Rose's Simeon squad in the Class AA state semifinals. Technically, that wasn't his last game, because Marshall beat Thornwood in the third-place contest.

As time has passed, that game should go down as one of the great matchups in Illinois history. Not just because of Rose vs. Beverley, two future NBA stars, but it was the first all-Public League matchup downstate after the bracket rules changed. It happened in the second-to-last year of the two-class format.

"When you're in it and you're so focused on ball, you don't even notice that you're in it." Beverley said. "You're talking about a brotherhood of me and D-Rose. Talk all the time. His friends are my friends, my friends are his friends. I need a car, D-Rose. I need somewhere to stay, give me your place. 'Anything you want, Pat.'

"Our brotherhood is way deeper than basketball. We're real brothers."

Brothers traveling the same path, just with different timelines.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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