Ayo Dosunmu experienced a personal NBA first in Friday’s Chicago Bulls victory over the Washington Wizards at the United Center.
He received in-game advice from an opposing player.
That player was Bradley Beal, who Dosunmu guarded for stretches and called “by far the best” he’s faced at changing directions “on a dime” – which made the Wizards star the perfect purveyor of wisdom after Dosunmu was whistled for two travels for shuffling his feet on drives.
“They called two travels on me,” Dosunmu said. “After the travel – the play before I scored – he (Beal) was like ‘Just go deliberately. Deliberately go one way and then just get into your shot. Don't think about it, just take it and drive and get to your spot.’”
Sound advice, to be sure. Unfortunately for the Beal, it immediately backfired.
“The next play I did it on him,” Dosunmu said. “And then he was like: ‘I didn't say do it on me, I just said do it in the future.’”
Beal corroborated the story in his own postgame interview, saying he saw Bulls head coach Billy Donovan, who coached Beal at the University of Florida, giving Dosunmu the same advice.
“He was traveling, he got called for two travels in the corner because he was very indecisive,” Beal said. “As a young player, you’ve got to kind of know what you’re about to do before you receive the ball. I looked at Coach Donovan and he was telling him to just catch and go. And it’s funny, I told him the same thing. I was like, ‘You just gotta catch and rip, don’t shuffle your feet. You catch and shoot or you catch and go.’
“His ass caught and went on me to a one dribble pull-up.”
Dosunmu has a reputation around the Bulls’ locker room for being a voracious question-asker and fast learner. Fittingly, he appreciated Beal’s candor, as evidenced by his instant reprogramming.
“That probably was my first time a vet has done that,” Dosunmu said. “But it just shows what kind of player and person he is, also. He saw something that could have been corrected, and he saw something in me that he could help me correct, and he gave me advice. So I think that’s just cool of him, and I appreciate that because him being one of the best scorers in this league, getting advice from him, that’s how the trend continues.”
Beal returned the favor by heaping praise on the Bulls’ rookie.
“He’s a really talented young player,” Beal said. “He just had his jersey retired with Illinois. Not a lot of people have that, you know? That’s a huge accomplishment, that's a blessing. What he meant to Champaign and everybody down there, that meant a lot. To see his run and see the love he received from there, that was pretty cool. I’m a fan of his. I hope he does well.”