"Frustration Kicks In": Bulls Star Speaks Publicly On Spat With Teammate

A rough season seemed to reach a boiling point for the Chicago Bulls recently, as a dreadful record has led to reports of turmoil between the team’s core players. To hear it from one of those players, though, sometimes confrontation is better than passivity. After snapping a four-game losing streak against the Miami Heat, star forward DeMar DeRozan told reporters that he was glad for the confrontation between himself and fellow star Zach LaVine, as it shows the team hasn’t given up on turning their season around.
Reports first began to emerge on Sunday that DeRozan and LaVine had shared a “strong exchange” during halftime of their blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, as well as after the game. DeRozan spun the encounter in a positive light, though, saying “it’d be a problem if we didn’t have any aggressive confrontation… To have any type of confrontation is just a true sign of a competitor. When you want to win, and things aren’t going right, frustration kicks in.” DeRozan has previously stated that he sees the Bulls' start as just a bump in the road for a great time.
Whether DeRozan is telling the truth or simply downplaying the situation for the media, he may not get a chance to prove he can save the Bulls from their current situation. At 12-18 and sitting outside of the Eastern conference playoff picture, the front office may decide to blow up its roster and retool for next season if it thinks the current core of LaVine, DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic can’t make for a true competitor. Murmurs of a Derozan-Vucevic trade package to the Lakers have been consistent since the team’s poor start, and will only get louder with the reports of internal conflict.

Alternatively, the team might hold out to see if their stars can get the team back on track. They might be hoping for point guard Lonzo Ball to help the team in the stretch run, but with no timeline currently available for his return from knee surgery, that’s a substantial risk. 

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