Bulls guard Zach LaVine earned his first career All-Star appearance on Tuesday night, and Chicago's star learned of the news in an unconventional manner.
LaVine joined on a Zoom call with the media on Tuesday, assuming he was slated to speak with members of the Chicago media prior to the All-Star announcement. But there were no reporters online as LaVine hopped on the call. Instead, his parents, Paul and Cheryl, appeared on screen alongside a collection of friends and teammates. Tuesday night likely marked the best media availability of LaVine's career.
"Just the look on their faces, it's been a long time coming," LaVine said on Tuesday. "We put a lot of work in for this and my support system is always there for me and has my back, so just to see the looks on their faces and showing me that I made them proud is more than enough for me."
LaVine was certainly a deserving All-Star selection in 2020–21. The UCLA product has carried Chicago's offense with 28.6 and 5.1 assists per game, shooting 51.8% from the field and 43.4% from three. LaVine enters Wednesday night leading the NBA in clutch points, and he's tallied 15 30-point performances in 30 games.
LaVine is one of three first-time All-Stars this season, joined by Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Knicks forward Julius Randle. The trio of newcomers will appear in the All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7.
Chicago enters Tuesday sitting at No. 8 in the Eastern Conference at 14–16. The Bulls have not reached the postseason since 2017.