In the 1990s, the Chicago Bulls were at the center of the NBA world. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson are just a few of the names who contributed to the amazing success of that team during that era of basketball.
Since then the Bulls haven't had much luck re-igniting that pre-2000s magic.
This season, the Bulls still have much to prove, but they continue to make their case after every win. On Saturday, the Bulls beat the KD-led Nets in Brooklyn, and DeMar DeRozan spoke like the leader this Chicago franchise has needed for years.
“In my mind, it’s just win. Whatever it takes to go out there and win. My mindset just shifts and just doing whatever, not thinking about failure. Not thinking about missing shots. Everything is just about being aggressive and win,” DeRozan said in his postgame presser, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
DeRozan, 32, signed with the Bulls over the summer after spending the past three seasons in San Antonio. Despite flying under the radar for most of his time as a pro, he has emerged as an MVP candidate this season and people are starting to take notice.
"You could make an argument that as of right now, DeMar DeRozan is third in the MVP race," said JJ Redick earlier in the season. "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."
DeRozan is averaging 26.3 points per game this season, but it's not just him who has transformed the Bulls. Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, and Nikola Vucevic have all added brought fire-power to the roster.
In the end, nobody really knows how it's going to end. It's still early in the season, after all. But for the first time in years, Bulls fans have something to be excited about and so long as DeRozan keeps leading with that winning mentality, the team will keep sliding in the right direction.