DeMar DeRozan Says Bulls Will Be Without Their Loud NBA Play-In Tournament Secret Weapon vs. Hawks

Apr 11, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) dribbles.
Apr 11, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) dribbles. / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, the NBA play-in tournament unfolded very simply for the Chicago Bulls.

On April 12, 2023, Chicago defeated the Toronto Raptors in the game between the Eastern Conference's No. 9 and No. 10 seeds. Guard Zach LaVine erupted for 39 points, but everyone knew who the real hero was: Diar DeRozan, guard DeMar DeRozan's daughter. Diar screamed her lungs off when the Raptors attempted free throws—so loudly that Toronto forward Scottie Barnes conceded Diar "had to have an effect" on his team's awful free-throw shooting night.

The Raptors shot just 50% from the charity stripe that night, making just 18 of 36 attempts.

In the game between the East's No. 8 and No. 9 seeds two days later, Diar went back to school, and the Bulls lost 102–91 to the Miami Heat.

On Wednesday, ahead of Chicago's battle with the Atlanta Hawks in this year's No. 9 vs. No. 10 seed game, DeRozan told reporters Diar would not be in attendance.

“She said just make it to the playoffs so she can get to a game. That’s all the motivation I need," DeRozan said.

The Hawks, therefore, had better take care of the Bulls tonight. Given Diar's track record, the rest of the NBA might not like the results later.

Patrick Andres


Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.