The NBA All-Star Game is this weekend in Chicago, Illinois and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine isn’t participating. This is somewhat of a surprise, as LaVine is averaging 25.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals per contest for the Bulls, who wouldn’t make the NBA Playoffs if the season ended today.
LaVine is the face of the Bulls and yet he’ll only participate in the 3-point shootout.
Million-dollar question: Does the All-Star snub bother him?
“Of course,” LaVine told me.
“Everybody wants to go out and put a show on for the city. I can’t get mad at myself about not being selected; a lot of dudes out there were deserving. In my opinion, I think I’m one of the best 12 guys in the East right now individually but then you know you have to also add in that we’re taking our record into account and that’s how the voting’s been going recently.” LaVine stated.
“I say by the end of the season, once we get team success, everybody is going to think about that. You know from the front office down. I believe in myself on the court, I know who I am and I know what I bring…It’s a little upsetting yeah, you think you could be in there, you know you want to play in the game obviously but it’s not going to deter from who I think I am every night and you know, I’ll get there eventually.”
A two time NBA Slam-Dunk Champion, it was revealed that LaVine would only participate in Saturday’s dunk contest if he was voted into Sunday’s game.
The other million-dollar question: Will he change his mind?
“If I would’ve made it, I would’ve done it for y’all man,” Zach LaVine told me.
“But I just don’t — I don’t have it in me. If I would have made it I would’ve made it even then It’s not like I really wanted to. I would have just put on for my city. You know it’s in Chicago, and I don’t need a lot to prove about the Dunk Contest. I haven’t done any dunks like that since the last time I won. I’m playing a lot more minutes now, carrying a lot more of the burden so it’s harder on the legs, but still four games out the playoffs so I got to look a little bit smarter this time and I think shooting 3’s might be a little easier on the knees.”
Zach LaVine not participating in more than just the 3-point shootout is quite disappointing for the city of Chicago. He’s endorsed by Adidas and their basketball line and he is the face of Zenni, the official eyewear company of the Bulls. That said, All-Star Weekend is primetime to get those promotional out and in full force.
It’s not just disappointing for LaVine, his Chicago Bulls teammates are also disappointed.
Bulls Teammates Talk LaVine Missing All-Star Game
Many of LaVine’s Bulls teammates sounded off on the facet that he missed out on the All-Star game. One of which was Thaddeus Young, who said it bothered him.
“It definitely bothers me for the simple fact that all the work that he did before they made the votes and picked the guys, we felt like he definitely should have been in. He’s putting up 30 points a game, he’s doing the same thing like averaging 23 or 24 points, we definitely thought that he should have been in.” Young stated.
“Yeah it is weird. You know, at the end of the day it’s his decision for the Dunk Contest. Personally I thought that he should have got in the All-Star Game, but you know it’s life…so you know move on hopefully you know, he can represent in the 3-point Contest and get that win.”
“As a team you see what Zach can do and you see what he does for our team and how impactful he is, see the numbers he puts up… clearly our record (19-35) isn’t where we would like it to be, but I think Zach has had a great impact on our team, and he’s impacted winning and I think his numbers show that.”
“He’s having an All-Star year. I definitely feel like that he could’ve made it. Obviously he didn’t so…. Is he an All-Star caliber player? Yes. Is he having an All-Star year? Yes. So you know, maybe next year.”
“It is kind of weird but I know him for when he was shooting lights out during the whole season so you know, he deserves that one but obviously we are all let down by him not being in the game because I felt like he deserves that and also we’re not winning so it’s tough but I think Chicago deserves to have someone there and I think he’s the guy that puts on a show, gives the fans what they want to see in an All-Star Game so he has a chance to make history by winning the 3-Point Contest.”
“I think he should have been an All-Star. He’s had an All-Star year. He’s an All-Star for sure but you know sometimes things don’t always go your way or go the way you want it to go. I still think that he can win the 3-point contest, I’ll be supporting him there but you know…it’s just life. You don’t always get what you want to get. You know it’s this year but you know, he’ll be a multiple-year All-Star no matter what in the coming years. The thing I like about that is that he really didn’t dwell on it too much and he didn’t get frustrated about it too much, he just kept pushing.”