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Zach LaVine: "I've Always Viewed Myself As A Top Tier Player."

Zach LaVine

All things considered, the Chicago Bulls are in a pretty good position. After years of living in the Eastern Conference basement, the franchise is squarely in the middle of the playoff picture and is just a few weeks removed from being a Top 3 seed in the East.

While the team's success can be attributed to many different things, the leadership and confidence of Zach LaVine have certainly helped spark their run.

In a recent interview with Bleacher Report, the Bulls star explained his mindset to close out this season.

"I would just say that I've always viewed myself as a top tier player. I put the work in on the court. I've showed it over the last three, four years. And I just attribute that to my hard work. If you expect yourself to be here, it's something that you have to go out there and show each and every day. I feel like I've done that. I've thought I could be one of the players in the game since I got into the league."

"Obviously we haven't made the playoffs and we're on track to do that now. But I go into the offseason each and every year trying to put my team in those positions and I'm glad that we're on track to do that now." 

The Bulls haven't made a Finals appearance since 1998, during Michael Jordan's final season in a Bulls jersey.

Over the past 20+ years, the franchise has tried (and failed) to build a new dynasty. Instead, all they've ever known is dysfunction and disappointment.

This season is different. With Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and a group of solid role players, Chicago is primed to make some real noise.

LaVine, who turned 27 in March, has his chance to show the world just what he's capable of at this stage of his career.