Selden tries to make most of his major minutes with Bulls
Wayne Selden Jr. learned the even-keel approach to basketball long ago.
It served him well as he went from a McDonald's all-American to undrafted by the NBA after three years at Kansas.
It helped again this season as he went from moving in and out of the rotation in Memphis to playing a lead role with the injury-prone Bulls. He's averaged nearly 30 minutes per game in the last five.
"It's all about taking it day-by-day," Selden said Friday at the Advocate Center. "How I came to the NBA, I don't really look too far ahead. I just try to get better every day. I try to put my work in, try to get better every day, try to be a good teammate, try to push my teammates and let the work speak for itself."
Selden joined the Bulls on Jan. 3 from Memphis in the Justin Holiday trade. It was a good move for Selden, since he was a reserve for the Grizzlies who didn't always play. With the Bulls, he's played at least 10 minutes in every game since Jan. 17.
His playing time increased as more players were lost with injuries. Selden has been dealing with a knee issue lately, but is expected to play Saturday against Philadelphia.
The Bulls have taken some lumps with their "no starters" lineup, but they pulled off a win at Washington on Wednesday.
"I've never told these guys, 'We don't have a chance to win,'" coach Jim Boylen said. "All year long, I'm saying when we cross over that line, it doesn't matter where you're from, where you were drafted, what your numbers are. It's what you do today when you cross over that line."
Selden grew up in Roxbury, Mass., and was one of the nation's highest-ranked recruits in his class. So he's used to being on a bigger stage and tried to take it all in stride.
"Sometimes it might get to your head, but you get humbled easily," he said. "I felt like I was humbled at an early age and through it all, just been able to take it day-by-day and not really look too much outward."
Selden's most memorable college moment was probably a monster dunk in the Big 12 tournament against Baylor, and the reaction of his Uncle Anthony in the crowd. His uncle became a minor celebrity for a few weeks.
"It was fun because it gave my uncle some shine," Selden said. "It was just a basketball play for me. I was kind of angry when I did (the dunk). But it was good to see him get that notoriety because that's how he is every game, no matter if the camera's on or not, since I've been a kid."
As it turned out, Selden's college career ended in the Elite Eight against the Villanova squad led by current teammate Ryan Arcidiacono that went on to win the national title. Any hard feelings there?
"I did (hate him)," Selden said with a laugh. "I've grown to accept it now at this point. He's a great teammate, great guy, I love being around him."
Bulls game dayBulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m. at the United Center
TV: WGN; Radio: WIND 560-AM
Outlook: It's tough to tell who will take the court for the 76ers. Ex-Bull Jimmy Butler missed two of the last three games with a sore back. C Joel Embiid sat out three games with a sore knee, then scored 34 points in 37 minutes in Thursday's loss to Milwaukee. ... PG Ben Simmons (17.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 7.9 assists) and PF Tobias Harris (18.8 ppg) should be good to go. ... Without Embiid, Philadelphia lost to the Bulls 108-107 at the UC on Mar. 6. ... The Sixers (49-30) have dropped three in a row and still need a couple more wins to clinch third place in the East.
Next: New York Knicks, 7 p.m. Tuesday at the United Center
-- Mike McGraw