PARIS – A young basketball player from France made a good day for Zach LaVine even better thanks to a question he asked in a postgame news conference on Thursday in Paris.
After the guard scored a game-high 30 points in the Bulls’ 126-108 win over the Pistons at Accor Arena, he had the chance to take a question from a junior reporter in the news conference.
It turns out he’s quite a fan of LaVine, sporting a Bulls’ t-shirt and hat as he started asking his question.
“I wear the number eight when I play basketball with my club because you’re my idol,” said the child when starting his question,” said the fan in French. “So I was wondering why do you wear this number and who was your idol when you were my age?”
A translator then read the question back, and LaVine cracked a big smile when he heard it in English.
“I appreciate it first of all, my man,” said LaVine in response. “Why I wore number eight is because of my idol – it was Kobe Bryant. So looking up to him, I wanted to do everything he did. I wore 14 in high school because of my dad and then got to the NBA and wanted to wear eight because of Kobe.
“I looked up to Kobe and Michael (Jordan) as a lot of kids growing up in the 90s did. I always try to do everything he did mindset-wise, hard work. So being in that position where I get somebody like you idolizing me, man, it’s full circle, so I appreciate it.”
LaVine is in his ninth NBA season and his sixth with the Bulls, having been acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade with the Timberwolves in the summer of 2017. The guard has been named an All-Star reserve the last two seasons and helped the Bulls to a playoff appearance last season.
In 2022-2023, LaVine is averaging 24.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 41 games.