Even with a misspelled jersey, Lauri Markkanen enjoys a successful Bulls’ Summer League debut
LAS VEGAS – With a unique last name that many have to do a double-take before spelling, it would have been easy to overlook a major uniform error at the Thomas and Mack Center on Saturday afternoon.
Lauri Markkanen obviously didn’t.
“Right when I got the jersey at the hotel,” said the Bulls’ first round draft pick of his misspelled last name on his NBA Summer League jersey for the first game against the Mavericks in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Instead of being spelled properly, Lauri’s last named was spelled “Markkenan.” Unsure of who to tell about the error, the forward decided to play on with it for his first game with the Bulls since they took him seventh overall in the NBA Draft in June.
At least it didn’t seem to bother him.
In his first game in a Bulls jersey of any kind – even in error – Markkanen led the Bulls’ summer league with 14 points in 33 minutes of the game in a 91-75 loss to the Mavericks.
The forward from Arizona raced out of the gates with nine points in the first quarter as his first two hoops came on a pair of dunks. Markkanen was 5-of-11 from the field with a pair of three-pointers to go along with a team-high eight rebounds.
Yet reporters after the game were quick to first ask about his jersey, which the team offered to replace in the second half but Markkanen declined. Instead, he hopes it gets fixed in time for his next Summer League game against the Hawks on Monday afternoon.
“I just hope when the regular season comes it doesn’t happen again,” said Markkanen.
He can probably count on that even if little else can be when it comes to this rebuilding Bulls’ team.