CHICAGO – For the last month, the push has been on to make this happen.
The player has been doing his job to be productive on the floor, and the franchise was doing what it could to put their best player in the NBA’s All-Star Game through efforts to get out the fan vote. A number of teammates spoke publically about the guard’s candidacy over the last few weeks.
On Tuesday, all of those efforts to get Zach LaVine into the All-Star Game have indeed paid off.
The NBA announced that the Bulls guard has been named an NBA All-Star for the first time in his career. LaVine will take part in the game on Sunday, March 7th in Atlanta at State Farm Arena.
He becomes the first member of the team to make the mid-season classic since Jimmy Butler was also named a reserve in 2017. Oddly enough, it was Butler who was the centerpiece of the trade with the Timberwolves in the summer of that year that brought LaVine to Chicago.
As the leader of the Bulls in a new era of the franchise that features a new front office and coach, the guard jas continued to take his game to a new level the last two months. His 28.6 points per game are sixth in the league and would be on pace for a career-high in that category.
The same can be said for his number of assists (5.1) and rebounds (5.4), and his efforts are a big reason why the Bulls have surpassed their low expectations coming into the season. At 14-16, the team occupies the eighth and final playoff spot at the moment, as Billy Donovan has brought new energy to the group.
LaVine joined the Bulls in the Butler trade in 2017 but only played 24 games that season since he was coming off a torn ACL. He played in 63 games in the 2018-2019 campaign, averaging 23.7 points per game and was at 25.5 the next season before the pandemic ended it in March.
This season, LaVine has gotten better as the games have gone along, so far posting career-highs in field goal (51.8) and three-point (43.4) percentage. In the month of February, LaVine has been averaging 31.1 points per game with 5.6 rebounds and five assists per contest.
Before Monday’s 21 point effort in a win over Houston, the guard averaged 35 points in the previous eight games.