Since signing an extremely team-friendly deal with the Chicago Bulls, DeMar DeRozan has quickly returned the value of his contract tenfold. Never having had the necessary supporting casts to succeed in Toronto and San Antonio, DeRozan has thrived and enjoyed the best years of his long and successful career in Chicago.
Whether it’s assuming the role of top option offensively and leading the NBA in fourth quarter scoring stats, or inviting teammates to his house for summer training camp and attending their collegiate jersey retirement ceremonies, there’s no doubt DeRozan has become the heart and soul of this Chicago Bulls team.
Although he’s only been on the time for a relatively short amount of time, he’s already compiled a surprisingly lengthy list of unforgettable moments and clutch performances. So many in fact, that I quickly had to begin removing a few from contention after I had the idea to write this. For that reason, I’d like to give a quick shoutout to a few performances deserving of an honorable mention here.
- Game-winner in Atlanta (Feb. 24): DeRozan scores 37 points before drawing the foul and hitting a spinning mid-range jumper to give Chicago the lead with 15 seconds remaining — watch here.
- Game-winner in New York (Dec. 23): Posts a well-rounded game with 25 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds before once again drawing the foul and drilling the game-winner from mid-range — watch here.
Without further ado, let’s look back on the top 5 moments DeMar DeRozan has given Chicago Bulls fans in 2022 and 2023.
DeMar DeRozan has been a nonstop highlight reel-producing machine in his relatively short tenure with the Chicago Bulls.
5. Clutches up in OT against Bucks
This one should still be incredibly fresh in your memory, seeing as it just happened last night. Still, it was hard to escape the feeling that we were watching an all-time classic game from DeRozan as he took things over in the closing minutes of this game against the Bucks. Posting a 40-point, double-double, DeMar was certainly impressive statistically, but what impressed me most was his ability to do the little things to push the scales in Chicago’s favor.
By securing the game-tying steal and outscoring the Bucks’ entire team in overtime, DeRozan secured a quality win and proved he’s still one of the league’s elite offensive talents.
4. DeMar delivers 50-point bomb on LA
While DeRozan has proven to have had the best years of his entire career in Chicago, he’s also had one of his best individual performances as well. Doing his best to stop a season of hard work from spiraling down the drain, DeMar delivered a masterful game to increase the Bulls’ record to 45-32. He scored 50 points on an extremely efficient 17-for-26 shooting from the field and 14-for-15 from the free throw line. This game was the second-highest scoring output of his career, coming just shy of his 52-point performance in 2018 with the Raptors.
3. DeRozan obliterates Wilt Chamberlain’s record
Who could forget DeMar’s insane 8-game streak of 35+ points on 50% shooting last year? You know you’ve entered rarified air when your accomplishments start being mentioned in the same sentence as Wilt Chamberlain’s records. DeRozan didn’t just come near Wilt’s record, however, he smashed straight through it. With the previous mark set at 6 consecutive games, DeMar’s streak extended the record to 8 games, coming just short with a 31-point game on the ninth try.
2. Game-winning effort at the buzzer in Indiana
Although this comes in second on this list, it is unquestionably the most difficult single shot DeMar has made as a Chicago Bull. It should come as little surprise, as even DeRozan himself admits he overestimated how much time he had remaining on the clock and was forced to take the off-balance three for the win. Redeeming an otherwise poor 8-for-24 shooting night, DeMar did what was necessary to get a big win over the Pacers while down in the closing moments and treated us fans to an incredible New Year’s Eve gift.
1. An unforgettably iconic victory in Washington
While this shot may have not been as technically difficult, it was just as impressive, if not even more so when you consider the context surrounding it all. There was drama entering this game because teammate Zach LaVine didn’t celebrate with the team on the last shot. There was the fact it seemed Kyle Kuzma was in fact the one who sealed the game with a critical three-point dagger just seconds before. And there was the fact Washington knew exactly who the ball was going to, and he scored it anyways, even with two defenders in his face contesting the final shot.
This win placed the Bulls in first place in the East and significantly helped bolster DeMar’s MVP campaign he had been building leading up to this moment. It’s unfortunate how the season panned out after the turn of the new year, but DeRozan gave us memories we’ll be able to cherish forever with these back-to-back game-winners.
Only halfway through the three-year contract he signed with the Bulls two summers ago, it’s almost a certainty that DeRozan will continue compiling more of these moments onto this list.