DeMar DeRozan, the 32-year-old star of the Chicago Bulls, is having possibly his best season in his NBA career. To far, he’s averaging a career-high 26.2 points per game, 4.8 assists, and 49.3 percent field goal shooting. Because the Bulls are now leading in the Eastern Conference, he is guaranteed to be considered for an All-NBA and All-Star selection.
So, at this point in his career, how has DeRozan improved? DeRozan acknowledges the late Kobe Bryant for how he approaches his game and his desire to develop in a new interview with ESPN.
“You play the piano long enough you’re going to get better at it. You will understand certain keys a little bit better, certain tones,” DeRozan told ESPN. “That’s how I look at my game and that’s how I wanted to approach my game. … That was one thing I learned from Kobe [Bryant]. As long as you play, if you’re not continuously getting better at one thing, you will continue to be the same player. Even if you improve one thing a season, after a span of time, by the time you are done you have got better at X amount of things.”
This approach to his game and proving that NBA players are not all finished products by the time they are out of their early 20s has much to say about DeRozan. Improvement as a player and the development of your craft is never-ending, especially for the league’s finest players. And it makes perfect sense for DeRozan to learn from Bryant, someone he’s grown to know over the years and clearly idolizes. A caution not to assume players have finished evolving.