Interest in DeMar DeRozan has gone up after his recent performances proved his decision to join the Chicago Bulls was a good move. When asked who his Mt. Rushmore players are, DeMar left out one big name.
Growing up as a Laker fan
DeRozan grew up in Compton, California, and admitted he was a Lakers fan growing up. When he was asked who would be on his Mt. Rushmore of NBA players, he gave almost all L.A. Lakers lineup.
No surprises there. Michael Jordan would be on anyone's Mt. Rushmore, past or present players. Kobe Bryant is also expected for every Laker fan. But after that, you'd think LeBron would make that list.
M.J. and Kobe almost played the same way and mastered the art of midrange jumpers. DeMar remains an old-school player who prefers shooting midrange js over taking 3-point shots. Some fans even claimed DeRozan mimics Kobe's moves in past games while the forward admits he learned everything from the Black Mamba.
Why LeBron is excluded in the list
There are also lots of those who did not make it, most notably LeBron James or Kevin Durant. You can't blame DeMar for not choosing James; The King has not yet earned his place among all-time Lakers despite bringing a championship to the city. It's one thing to be one of the greatest ever - a completely different thing to crack the top 5 Lakers list.
The 32-year-old could also remember the times James booted them out in the playoffs when he was still with Toronto Raptors. LeBron enjoys a 41-12 advantage in career head-to-head, including a 12-2 edge in the playoffs against DeRozan.
When DeMar joined the Chicago Bulls, it raised the expectations high this season. Chicago finally has the pieces to make a deeper run in the postseason. DeRozan was expected to sign with contenders and not up-and-coming teams like the Bulls, but things are working in their favor so far.
Chicago is 2nd in the East with a 19-10 record. A lot of it has got to do with DeRozan. The former Raptor is averaging 26.8 points per game this season. He and Zach LaVine form a deadly duo that gives Bulls options on offense and defense on the wing.
If the Bulls keep up their performance, there's a chance they can go all the way to the Finals. Who knows, maybe a meeting with James and Lakers for the title could change his mind about his Mt. Rushmore players.