From their shared Chicago roots, Ayo Dosunmu said he already had a small relationship with Patrick Beverley.
But now that they’re Chicago Bulls teammates, at least for the next 23 games, that relationship is about to grow.
“You feel his presence every time he’s in the room,” Dosunmu said following Friday’s shootaround at the Advocate Center.
Dosunmu, who quickly has developed a reputation as an inquisitive teammate always looking to improve, is focusing his attention on Beverley’s defensive presence.
“He’s a (three)-time All-Defensive team. That’s one category where I want to get to,” Dosunmu said. “So him being here and being able to give me advice of how to manipulate things on the defensive end and make guys uncomfortable, he’s doing that at 6 feet, 6-1. If I can continue to learn and get better, then I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to be the same way.
“I’m always here to listen and to try to get as much advice and knowledge as I can. He’s been in the league longer than me, so he’s seen things I haven’t seen yet. He’s been great in the aspect of answering all the questions thoroughly and not giving me BS answers. Everything is long and lengthy. That’s what you look for when you try to get better from a veteran.”
Beverley started all 45 games he played for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Dosunmu has started 49 of his 57 appearances from the Bulls’ first 59 games.
Whether Beverley starts or not, he will have a role that will impact Dosunmu’s. Guess who took the high road on that?
“We all want to win. Coach (Billy) Donovan always does a great job with his rotations of putting guys out there to be successful. So I trust in my abilities to help the team win,” Dosunmu said. “We have 23 games left. The most important thing is to get in the win column so we can try to make the playoffs.”
Like Beverley, Dosunmu’s focus is on winning. That’s why he laughed when asked how his alma mater of Morgan Park High School fared against Beverley’s of Marshall High.
“I won two state championships,” he said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
Reminded that Beverley’s Marshall team lost to Derrick Rose’s Simeon High in the 2006 IHSA state quarterfinals, Dosunmu didn’t take the bait.
“I don’t know about that,” he said, smiling. “All I can say is I won back-to-back.”