Bulls Insider

Terry experiences wild travel day from G League to NBA


ATLANTA --- Don’t get Dalen Terry wrong.

He’s happy to be in an NBA locker room again and even happier to get some playing time Wednesday night as the Chicago Bulls faced the Atlanta Hawks.

But when he first got the news that he had been recalled from the G League, Terry flashed a genuine competitive reaction.

“I said, ‘I can’t play in the championship?’” Terry said. “’I already played in the whole tournament. Why can’t I play in the championship?’”

That’s because Terry, along with Malcolm Hill, received his call-up news after the Windy City Bulls finished off a pulsating semifinal victory in the G League Showcase in Las Vegas on Carlik Jones’ buzzer-beating jumper.

Terry had just finished his postgame media responsibilities Tuesday night in Las Vegas when team officials told him about injuries to Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones Jr., forcing the Bulls to need bodies.

Terry asked if he could fly Tuesday night, but no flights were left. So he and Hill woke up at 4:30 a.m. and flew from Las Vegas.

“It was a straight flight, luckily, no connections,” Terry said, smiling. “But I was definitely in a middle seat. That’s all they had left.”

Terry landed in Atlanta at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time and hadn’t eaten breakfast, so he ordered room service lunch even though he badly wanted to nap.

“I was trying to stay awake for the food,” Terry said. “I ate my pasta and went right to sleep.”

Terry slept for two hours.

“It’s all part of it. This is what I signed up for,” Terry said. “Obviously, the competitor in me wants to play in the championship. But the little kid that loves basketball wants to be here too.”

Entering Wednesday, Terry had only logged 36 NBA minutes to this point, which is why he appreciated the G League Showcase action.

“Every team had their draft picks and two-ways there. So the games were highly competitive,” Terry said. “I guarded a lot of guys who have played NBA minutes, so that was good. I enjoyed it and thought I played well. 

“As for now, they (Bulls coaches) told me to be ready whenever.”

That moment came in the third quarter. With Alex Caruso out for the second half after suffering a sprained right shoulder, coach Billy Donovan turned to the first-round pick with 3 minutes, 24 seconds left in the period. Donovan was using an eight-man rotation all game.

Did Terry get a long enough nap?

“I’m 20,” he said. “I’ll be alright.”

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