Despite the media’s persistent attempts to undermine his vast resume and array of accomplishments in the NBA, DeMar DeRozan has endured it all and only seems to get better with time. As he prepares to embark on his 15th season in the league with the Chicago Bulls, the chip on his shoulder appears to have been replaced with an admirable level of confidence in himself.
In a recent interview with Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic (subscription required), DeRozan discussed how he’s managed to maintain his position as one of the best scorers in basketball, even as the game has radically shifted toward becoming more perimeter-oriented.
“I don’t have to do nothing,” DeRozan told Mayberry, “Thirty-(eight) people scored more points than me in NBA history.”
Bulls All-Star forward DeMar DeRozan has proven to be one of the greatest scorers in NBA history.
It’s clear this fact hasn’t been lost on DeMar, because he wasn’t too far off of the real answer. DeRozan has scored the 39th most points of any NBA player to ever take the court, and will likely only continue climbing the leaderboard. Scoring just shy of 4,000 points in his two seasons with the Bulls, if he continues on at this pace — or even anywhere close to it — he’s on track to easily crack the top 25 within the next three seasons, surpassing NBA legends such as Larry Bird, Allen Iverson, and Charles Barkley.
But when discussing the players ahead of DeMar on the all-time scoring list, it’s the players who are currently still active that I find more interesting. Only six active players have scored more points, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and Stephen Curry. Even the three-point shooting GOAT himself has only scored 27 more points than DeRozan in the regular season, despite being DeMar’s elder by seven months.
This is a testament to just how phenomenal DeRozan has been over the course of his career.
"“I’m not sitting up here saying I don’t need to shoot 3s,… But with that, I don’t make it feel like I’ve got to go out every single night and shoot 10 3s. I don’t feel that way. I still try to stay within the confines of being great at what I’m great at. When it’s 3s there, I take them. It’s not like I don’t take them.”"
Although he hasn’t enjoyed the level of postseason success he would have preferred, it’s time we all collectively stop overlooking the incredible resume he’s put together. With three All-NBA nominations, six All-Star selections, and a very real chance to break into the upper echelon of scorers, DeRozan might just be knocking on the door of the Hall of Fame.
You simply can’t refute a top 20-25 scorer to ever play the game, should he reach those heights. In fact, every single other player in the top 45 on the all-time scoring list is either in the Hall of Fame or on track to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Unlike so many other players in the past, DeRozan has defied a changing of the guard and maintained relevance even as his game became outdated and has bested Father Time itself.
DeMar may or may not win a ring before it’s all said and done, but he has earned every right to fire back at his critics. As an impending free agent in 2024, this could be the last time we get to see an all-time great like DeRozan represent Chicago, so enjoy this season while it lasts.