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Bulls guard Coby White is 'shocked' by Roy Williams’ retirement

White only played one season for the UNC/Kansas coaching legend in Williams, but knows it’s a relationship he will have for a lifetime.

Coby White obviously had a special relationship with his former University of North Carolina coach Roy Williams.

That was on full display back in White’s rookie season, in which Williams blew off his weekly radio show to attend a Bulls game, hoping to encourage a then-slumping White.

All the guard did in that November win over the Knicks was set a franchise record with seven fourth-quarter threes, finishing with 27 points.

So with the news that Williams was retiring of course White was in “shock.’’

“It was a surprise,’’ White said on Friday. “I’m happy for him and kind of sad at the same time because he will forever be my coach and forever be that role model, that guy, that figure I can go to in my life. But I’m happy for him, he’s done this a long time and he’s one of the best ever. So now he gets to enjoy time, he gets to enjoy his family.’’

White only played a season at UNC, and left for the NBA after Williams encouraged him to. But the way White sees it, it’s a relationship he will have for a lifetime.

“I got a chance to talk to him [Thursday],’’ White said. “What’s crazy is, he called me because he didn’t see me in the box score, so he was making sure that I was OK. He didn’t even call to talk about everything that had happened. He called to see what was wrong with me.’’

Easing up?

The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Bulls since they had a roster facelift at the trade deadline, but veteran Thad Young knows that changes a bit next week, when the play a string of very important Eastern Conference teams, as well as some games that are very winnable on paper.

“Obviously when the schedule shakes out, we all think we’ll be a little bit better,’’ Young said. “But we’re still playing in some games we believe are games we think we can win. So it’s just a matter of gong out there and getting acclimated with each other and making sure that we are doing the right things.

“The schedule is what it is. At the end of the day, we all are men. We all have to step on the court. And we all lace our shoes up and pull our pants up the same way. It’s just a matter of going out there and fighting, and seeing who’s a better team at the end.’’

After a home game with the Nets on Sunday, the Bulls play at Indiana, Toronto, Atlanta, Minnesota and Memphis, and then host Orlando, Memphis and Cleveland.

The Theis Effect

Newcomer Daniel Theis has already seen enough in a few games with the Bulls to state that the team needed to be more physical, both on the perimeter and inside the paint. He’s also taking on the responsibility to help that happen.

“Me, Thad, [and Nikola Vucevic], we’re experienced enough, like we can guide those guys and just tell them we gotta be more physical,’’ Theis said. “As a five you see the whole court basically the whole time. You’re back there, you can talk to everybody, tell them where to go. That was my mindset with the Celtics too, just be a defensive anchor, be vocal and just talk to everybody.

“And I think that’s a thing we’ve gotta change or just adjust to.’’

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