The NBA announced today that Chicago Bulls guard Coby White was named Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in February. White is the first Bulls rookie to receive this honor since Nikola Mirotić in March of 2015.
Across nine February contests, White led all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring with 20.1 points, second to only New Orleans' Zion Williamson (25.7). He also ranked first in field goals (6.8) and 3-point field goals (3.3) made per game among East rookies while averaging 4.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.00 steals. Prior to White, the only Chicago first-year player in team history to hold averages of at least 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.00 steals over a single calendar month was Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who accomplished this in six different months during his rookie campaign of 1984-85 (Elias Sports Bureau).
The seventh overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft posted a career-high 35 points on Feb. 25 against Oklahoma City, which is tied for the second-highest scoring output by a rookie this season. It was also White's third straight game with 30-plus points, a feat which only one other rookie since 2000-01 has accomplished (Atlanta's Trae Young). The North Carolina product's three consecutive 30-point outings (33 on Feb. 22 vs. Phoenix, 33 on Feb. 23 vs. Washington and 35 on Feb. 25 vs. Oklahoma City) came off the bench, making him the only rookie reserve in league history to record such a streak, since the NBA began tracking starters in 1970-71 (Elias Sports Bureau). He is just the fourth reserve in league history to score at least 30 points in three consecutive contests. White's three 30-point games on the season are tied for the most among rookies and he is the fourth player in Bulls history with at least three such performances in a debut campaign, joining Jordan (33 times), Elton Brand (six) and Ben Gordon (four).
The 20-year-old's 35 points on Feb. 25 came on 19-35 (.543) shooting from the floor and 6-9 (.667) shooting from beyond the arc, also marking his third straight 30-point game with a field goal and 3-point field goal percentage of .500-or-better. Portland's Damian Lillard (five straight), Houston's James Harden (three), Boston's Jayson Tatum (three) and Houston's Russell Westbrook (three) are the only other players league wide to produce such a streak this season. White is the first rookie in NBA history to achieve this. In his three games from Feb. 22-25, he also made five-plus threes in each game (seven on Feb. 22, five on Feb. 23 and six on Feb. 25) becoming the only first-year player in league history to make five-or-more 3-point field goals in three consecutive contests.
A native of Goldsboro, North Carolina, White closed out the month with 22 points off the bench on Feb. 29 at New York, his fourth straight 20-point performance, joining Williamson as the only rookies to score 20-or-more points in at least four straight appearances this season. The last Bulls rookie to record such a streak of at least four games was Brand (four) from March 22-29, 2000. In addition, White became the first Chicago player to put up at least 20 points in four consecutive outings in a reserve role since Gordon (six) from Jan. 16-Feb. 4, 2008.