From lunch spots to Lake Shore, Bulls' Patrick Beverley savors homecoming

Bulls' Beverley is savoring homecoming experience originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Patrick Beverley is currently living in a hotel in his hometown.

“It’s a really funny feeling,” Beverley said.

Beverley said he has homes he can go to if he wants. But with his focus on impacting winning for the Chicago Bulls and the whirlwind nature of his signing while on vacation in Paris following his buyout from the Orlando Magic, that’s his living arrangement for now.

“I never feel it until I leave practice or the game. Then I’m like, ‘I’m at the crib,’” Beverley said when asked what the return to his hometown has been like thus far. “I can ride past Marshall (High School). I can go to Jimmy’s and get me a polish (sausage). My little spots that a lot of people even from Chicago don’t know about.

“I get a thrill out of taking my lunch from RPM Italian and eating on Lake Shore. I get a thrill out of that sitting in my car, eating my lunch, looking at Lake Shore. It’s been a different vibe. At night, I can just chill, sit in the back of my car and look at the city. It’s been very different.”

The Bulls are 2-0 since Beverley’s arrival. Following Sunday’s matinee victory over the Washington Wizards, the Bulls’ Twitter account posted a heartwarming exchange between Beverley and Lamont Bryant, his high school coach at Marshall.

“Unfortunately, I have to deal with him a lot now,” Beverley said, smiling.

Beverley has been showered with loud ovations on multiple occasions during his first two games, including when public address announcer Tim Sinclair uses the “From Chicago . . .” call during starting lineup introductions rather than Beverley’s alma mater of Arkansas.

“It’s hard to go unnoticed with that,” Beverley said. “I just want to embrace it. Obviously, you’re stuck trying to win games. But I want to embrace this because it’s a kid’s dream come true. A kid from Chicago, playing for your hometown, winning games, making a playoff push. It’s all you dream about.”

In both home games, Beverley has engaged with the crowd, exhorting them to cheer or inject passion into the game. On Sunday, he did so as he walked off the United Center court for a substitution shortly after blocking fellow Chicagoan Kendrick Nunn.

“You don’t have to work the crowd. They feel it. It’s almost like they’re waiting on you,” Beverley said. “Everyone in this city loves basketball. It’s not surprising. Everyone knows someone who played basketball, or they played basketball before. It’s a basketball town. So the fans appreciate it.”

Told that Joakim Noah used to do the same thing, Beverley smiled.

“That’s my guy,” Beverley said of his one-time Los Angeles Clippers teammate in the Orlando bubble. “Shoutout to Jo.”

Born in 1988, Marshall grew up on the city’s west side with fond memories of the Bulls’ dynasty. They include watching games with his grandfather, Rheese Morris, who passed away in 2017. Beverley mourned his passing in memorably powerful fashion after helping the Houston Rockets to a playoff victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

“We couldn’t really afford tickets. So my memory was, like, Grandma’s porch. The playoffs were always the summertime so the weather had changed a lot more. You got the TV right there on the porch,” Beverley said. “My granddad---rest in peace, his good soul---he wore a Chicago Bulls jersey every single day. Every single day. Until I got my jersey in the NBA, he wore a Michael Jordan jersey every single day.

“So just to have that makeup, my neighborhood was a neighborhood full of basketball players. So the Bulls winning, they were winning so much it became natural. ‘What we gonna do this championship?’”

One day, Beverley will almost certainly frame a Bulls jersey with his name on it to commemorate this experience. That day is not now.

“It’s a lot of work that needs be done for me to be putting jerseys up right now,” he said. “Finish this season out strong. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this team, really excited.

“You gotta embrace this whole thing. Everything happens for a reason. So I’m just embracing it.”

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