For most of his 12-year career, DeMar DeRozan has been overlooked by the vast majority of the NBA community. And when he was traded to San Antonio in 2018, the world nearly forgot his name entirely.
But in Chicago, after 12 seasons of greatness in Toronto and San Antonio, he's finally starting to get the respect he deserves.
In a chat with the media, the veteran forward looked back on all the chatter over the past few years and delivered a message to those that counted him out:
“People [have been] saying I was washed for the last few years,” he told reporters earlier this week. “[There’s] the narrative [that I] ‘won’t fit’ [with Chicago and San Antonio]. I can find all types of chips that I use as my motivation. I just want to be a winner and enjoy this ride.”
With averages of 25.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game on 48% shooting, DeRozan is having one of the best campaigns of his career and is making a case for MVP as he leads the Bulls to an impressive record in the East.
"You could make an argument that as of right now, DeMar DeRozan is third in the MVP race," said JJ Redick. "He didn't play great against Portland, the Bulls lost, Steph went crazy in Brooklyn. These things are constantly changing. My point was, he has to have at least some consideration at this point this season for top 5 in the MVP."
It's impossible to say for sure whether DeMar can keep up this play for the duration of the season. Anything can happen, after all.
But he has proven to the world that he's more than an average player. He's a star, and it's through his play that the Bulls are finally back to playing respectable basketball.