By Joseph Phillips, Sports Editor
After missing the All-Star Game in his first six seasons, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine was named an All-Star reserve for the first time in his seven-year NBA career. The league made the announcement on Tuesday, February 23, on TNT’s network show Inside the NBA.
LaVine is currently averaging a career-high 28.6 points per game, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists for the 2020-21 NBA season.
“Zach has been unbelievable for us this year,” said coach Billy Donovan via chicagobulls.com. “He’s played like an All-Star all season, and he has really taken his play to another level. I know how hard he works and what this recognition means to him. I am very happy for him and want to congratulate him on this very well-deserved honor.”
According to Chicago Bulls.com, LaVine currently tops the Bulls stats totals in scoring, field goals made and attempted, 3-pointers made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, steals and minutes played.
LaVine has also led the Bulls in scoring 23 times this season, rebounds four times this season and assists 14 times (with both scoring and assists recorded as a team-high).
In addition LaVine has scored double digits in every game he’s played and has posted 26 games with 20-plus points. This includes 15 games with 30 or more points (second-most in the East) and two games with 40-plus points.
“It means a lot,” said LaVine via chicagobulls.com about his recent All-Star selection.
“I told you guys over the last couple of years I feel like I’ve been playing at an All-Star level. This year has been a little different. I’ve been obviously trying to do the best I can, to do whatever it takes to contribute to winning. I feel I’ve done a good job in helping us get to an eighth [seed/spot]. I think that’s what my main focus was. And you enjoy the fruits of your labor.”
The selection by LaVine marked the first time since the 2017 season a Chicago Bull made the NBA All-Star team. The Bulls currently hold the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with LaVine leading them to a 15-17 record.