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News » Deng eager to show mates London

Deng eager to show mates London

Deng eager to show mates London If there was any free time in the busy Bulls itinerary, the first thing Luol Deng would do with his teammates in London next week is take them to his house so his mother could serve a home-cooked Sudanese meal. Apparently, fish and chips is not served at the Deng household.

"They could get fish and chips just around the corner," Deng joked.

The second outing Deng had considered was Arsenal?s Premier League match against the Blackburn Rovers on Sunday at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal has been Deng?s favorite soccer team since his family relocated to London in 1993.

"I was planning on that until I saw the schedule," he said Wednesday at the Berto Center. "I think some of the guys are going to the Chelsea game."

Since his first two activities are off the board, what does he recommend for a first-time London visitor?

"I told them, depending on the weather, just going downtown, Piccadilly Circus, going to where Niketown is, moving around a little bit, maybe seeing Big Ben, the London Eye," he said. "It?s just great sightseeing. Things that you?ll remember for the rest of your life."

After playing their preseason opener at Indiana on Friday, the Bulls will leave for London on Saturday afternoon. That basically gives them two days to prepare for Tuesday?s preseason game against the Utah Jazz at the O2 Arena.

"I?ll tell you after we get back," coach Vinny Del Negro said when asked if he?s looking forward to the Bulls ? first trip overseas since a 1997 visit to Paris. "It?s a long trip; it?s one game. It?s a lot of travel with the time change and things. Hopefully everything will go smoothly."

The NBA started to aggressively send teams overseas a couple years ago, with some franchises opening training camp in a foreign location. The Bulls are going over for just the single game, then are scheduled to be back at the Berto Center for practice on Oct. 9, followed by a preseason game in Green Bay against the Bucks a day later.

The league obviously scheduled the London trip with Deng in mind. He was born in Sudan, but left at age 4 when his family escaped a civil war. After living in Alexandria, Egypt for a few years, Deng?s family was granted asylum and moved to London.

Deng started playing for the British national team in 2007 and helped them qualify for this year?s European championships, but he couldn?t play because he was still recovering from the stress fracture in his right shin.

"I?m excited," he said of his London homecoming. "I want to say it?s just like any other preseason game, but it?s really not (because of) playing in front of my friends and family. I know I?ll be limited minute-wise, but it?s still exciting for them to see me in my Bulls jersey and being at home. Some of my friends have never really seen a Basketball game live."

Some believe that a preseason European vacation should help the team pull closer together. Deng believes that?s important as the Bulls try to absorb the loss of Ben Gordon, the team?s leading scorer the past four seasons.

"We?ve got to play a team game," Deng said. "We?ve got to be unselfish on the court. I think defensively we?re expecting to be better. We?re really trying to focus on that in this camp, and offensively we?re trying to move the ball a lot better than we have in the past."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 3, 2009


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