Bulls star DeRozan ties Larry Bird after winning prestigious award

Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls
Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Just when even the most optimistic of fans began to count the Chicago Bulls out, this team showed it had far more resolve than anyone expected. Amid a four-game Western Conference road trip, the Bulls reeled off three wins in four games, with their lone loss coming at the hands of a top-five team in the Clippers.

I think I can speak for most fans when I say I expected to see the Bulls stumble a bit further down the standings on this challenging road trip. Instead, Chicago would be propped up by the exceptional play of DeMar DeRozan, as he helped steer this team back to a 31-32 record and gave the Bulls a real shot to get back to a .500 winning percentage on the season.

Averaging 29.8 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.5 rebounds over this four-game stretch, the Bulls certainly wouldn't have come out with three wins if DeMar didn't find a way to take things to a new level. He shot an incredibly efficient 55.1% from the field last week and even drilled 41.2% of his three-point attempts — quite the accomplishment for someone who has a reputation for being a notoriously poor shooter like DeMar.

As a result, DeRozan received a well-deserved Eastern Conference Player of the Week award. He joins Western Conference Player of the Week Luka Doncic, who posted a stellar triple-double average of 37.8 points, 10.5 assists, and 10.5 rebounds through last week.

After another great season with the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan is proving himself to be one of the most overlooked stars in NBA history.

This is DeRozan's first Player of the Week award win of the year, while Doncic adds a third to his collection this season alone. Luka has already compiled quite a prolific career, with this being the 12th Player of the Week award of his career — tied for 28th most wins in NBA history.

Although Doncic may have the edge on DeMar this season, he's still chasing DeRozan in career wins. DeMar is the proud owner of 15 Player of the Week awards, tying him with certified legends Larry Bird and David Robinson for the 22nd most wins of all time. There's still time for him to continue climbing this list and catch more legends like Magic Johnson, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, as only 13 players have ever won the award 20 or more times throughout their careers.

This era of Bulls basketball has had its fair share of ups and downs, so it's easy to overlook just how phenomenal DeRozan has been since signing with Chicago in the summer of 2021. He's been consistently great in each of his three seasons with the Bulls, making him without a doubt the greatest free agent signing in franchise history.

In fact, the only player with a higher Bulls career points per game average than DeMar is Michael Jordan himself — who won 25 Player of the Week awards during his career, for the record. DeRozan's impending free agency will without a doubt be the biggest story on the minds of Bulls fans moving forward, as his decision to stay or bolt for greener pastures will dramatically alter this team's trajectory for years to come.

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