Michael Jordan was an idol of many of the current NBA players. Many of the players who are currently playing grew up during the peak of Jordan's powers, as he and the Chicago Bulls dominated the rest of the league. Much like the tagline for his Jordans, everyone wanted to be like Mike. But one current player noted that he went out of his way to hate a team because of his loyalty to Jordan.
Current Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan revealed in a post-game press conference that he hated the Utah Jazz as a kid because of Michael Jordan. Jordan and the Bulls had a fierce rivalry with the Utah Jazz, that culminated in two consecutive NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. DeRozan was a hardcore Jordan fanatic, so he hated the Utah Jazz for going against him (1:40 mark).
“From ’98 on, I remember his last 2 championships for sure. Being a kid, my dad made me watch every single game. Me, I remember, I used to hate Utah; because you know everybody who was rooting for the Chicago Bulls (at the time) hated Utah. So as a kid, I said I hate Utah too.”
DeRozan has spoken on numerous occasions about the impact Jordan has had on his career. In fact, a big part of why he signed with the Chicago Bulls in the offseason was because he wanted to achieve success with the same team that Michael Jordan did during his legendary career.
DeRozan has been spectacular this season, even breaking some of Michael Jordan's Chicago records. He broke Jordan's record for most points in the first 16 games as a Chicago Bulls, one that Jordan set in his rookie year. And recently, he also joined Jordan as the only Bulls player to have 6 consecutive games with 35+ points. While he cannot surpass Jordan's legacy with the Bulls, DeRozan has been great for them.