When I was in my teen years and early twenties, I was a student of the NBA. I knew the starting lineups and most key bench players for every team in the league. I watched the NBA religiously. Whatever game was on, I was watching it. And the teams I didn’t watch on television, I read about in the newspaper.
Looking back, I wonder at the amount of energy it took to be the most informed person in the room on all things basketball. I certainly don’t have that amount of time available anymore.
I am a Chicago Bulls fan. I know our team roster. I know the star players for most of the teams in the league. Outside of the playoffs, I really only watch Bulls games – so the teams we play often are the ones I know more readily.
DeMar DeRozan was not on my radar prior to his signing with the Bulls. I didn’t know a thing about him. So, I didn’t really have much of an opinion on if it was a good free agent signing or not.
My eyes have been opened. DeMar DeRozan is the real deal. As the great Stacey King says, he is “DeMarvelous!”
My admiration for DeRozan started with the first televised game he played in a Bulls uniform. I didn’t realize it then, but I was watching something special.
DeRozan makes basketball look effortless. He is a professional scorer who can handle the ball, is excellent at setting up his teammates, and keeps up the same intensity on defense. Watching him score is like bathing in the music of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It is a thing of beauty.
DeRozan played his college ball at USC, which is a great school both in terms of sports and academics. DeRozan was selected by the Toronto Raptors in the 2009 NBA draft. He went on to appear in four NBA All-Star games and is a two-time All-NBA Team selection.
In 2018, DeRozan was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. That meant he missed out on the Raptor’s 2019 NBA Championship. DeRozan was a true pro – playing out his contract with the Spurs before signing as a free agent with the Bulls in 2021.
Another thing that stands out about DeRozan is the type of teammate he is. The Chicago Bulls are Zach Lavine’s team. DeRozan is a statistical slam dunk every night without ever taking away from Lavine’s game. They compliment each other. As Stacey King likes to call them, they are “The Slash Brothers.”
Further, a wily veteran like DeRozan knows how to be a leader and how to be a winner, and he is showing Lavine how to be a leader and winner, too. Watching the two of them together on the court is magic.
With the additions of free agents DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso to compliment Lavine, Nikola Vucevic, and Coby White, we all had high hopes for the Bulls this season. I don’t know if anybody predicted the Bulls would be the top team in the East.
The Bulls could very well be real championship contenders this year. While I love the play of Javonte Green, a 6’5” guard playing power forward may be call for an upgrade. We don’t have many pieces to trade with, but hopefully we can put together some kind of trade or free agent signing.
I may not have known much about DeMar DeRozan prior to the 2021-22 NBA season, but I know him now and couldn’t wish for a better compliment to Lavine. If Artūras Karnišovas and Marc Eversley can pull off one more magic signing, we could be looking at a championship season.
Peace. Love. Trust.
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