DeRozan shines in 1st game back in L.A. since father's death
The victory was bittersweet for DeRozan. It marked the first game for the Compton, California native back in Los Angeles since his father's death in February 2021.
The Bulls forward spoke postgame about how it felt to play at Staples Center without his father in attendance.
"Every time I came home, it was always an honor," DeRozan said, according to ESPN's Jamal Collier. "This is my first time coming home to play since my dad passed, and he was at every game. He didn't miss any games. (Sunday) was one of those games that, you know, I wish he was here."
DeRozan nearly signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason before eventually agreeing to a deal with Chicago. While he would've been closer to his family had he joined the Lakers, his decision to join a new-look Bulls squad has paid off so far.
"But what happens, happens how it needs to happen," DeRozan said of his free agency. "I couldn't be happier in Chicago honestly. So it works out 1000% perfect when it needs to."
Chicago is off to a hot start to the 2021-22 season. Sunday's win improved the Bulls to 9-4, which puts them 0.5 games back of first place in the Eastern Conference.