Gatherings prohibited, but Bulls still trying to build unity

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Due to the pandemic, the Bulls can't really gather away from the gym. Veteran guard Garrett Temple, above center, said the players are trying different methods to bond as a team.

    Due to the pandemic, the Bulls can't really gather away from the gym. Veteran guard Garrett Temple, above center, said the players are trying different methods to bond as a team. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 2/12/2021 8:06 PM

The Bulls already knew each other pretty well, since there just two new faces in the locker room.

One of the newcomers is veteran guard Garrett Temple, who knows one of his jobs is to try to teach his younger teammates how to create a successful NBA team.

 

Team outings or parties are off limits during the pandemic, so Temple said the Bulls are trying a different approach.

"We've actually stayed in the locker room more after practice," Temple said after Friday's shootaround. "Just sat down, talked, joked around, talked to people about past experiences. Myself and Thad (Young) and Otto (Porter), even Zach (LaVine), we talked about our teammates and past experiences. Those kinds of things build camaraderie.

"You have more conversations on the bus, on the plane. And you just try to find common ground. We're talking to guys, talking about guys getting together about practice and talking about different things they need to do on the court to make sure they're OK. Building trust, building chemistry."

Temple said he receives occasional texts late at night from Coby White and rookie Patrick Williams, asking questions. He's trying to work with Williams on how to benefit from studying game tape.

"Coach Billy (Donovan) has done a great job of kind of throwing those things out before film sessions, making sure we talk to each other, and I think it's starting to catch on," Temple said.

The Bulls tried to have one team dinner during the season's first road trip in Washington. They thought they were being careful, but that's when Chandler Hutchison and Tomas Satoransky ended up testing positive for the coronavirus, and the Bulls also lost Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono to contact tracing for a couple weeks.

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