CHICAGO – It’s no surprise Zach LaVine is finally an NBA All-Star. He took his game to new heights this season, averaging career-highs in points, rebounds and assists.
The 25-year-old rising star did get one shock to the system on selection night, though. He thought he was meeting with the media via Zoom following the announcement, but the Bulls played a heartwarming trick on LaVine, inviting his family and friends on the call instead.
All-Star weekend won’t be the same with the Covid-19 protocols in place. LaVine’s taken part in the festivities before, so he doesn’t mind. He’s just happy he gets to play in the main event after all he and his family have been through.
“It definitely is a journey. It’s a process. Going back to even when I was little. It’s always been hard work. If you fall, you get up. You can’t stay in the same place. Can’t have a ‘poor me’ mentality. I’m a ‘show you’ mentality.”
His dad helped him develop that mindset. He nailed a hoop to a tree in his grandmother’s backyard near Seattle so he could practice no matter the weather.
“It goes back to me and my dad being outside in the rain shooting 500 shots with plastic garden gloves on to me hurting my knee, fighting back from that, being traded. Now, fighting to help get my team in the playoffs. It’s always a fight. You always enjoy that. When you get some success and you get some recognition it means a lot.”
LaVine has a shot to move to the Bulls into the seven seed with a win over the Timberwolves Wednesday night.