That's the culture for many NBA players.
Not as recognizable as the statistics scream you should be with the fans?
No worries. "Pockets.''
An under-the-radar All-Star?
The "pockets'' don't lie.
"Outside this city, to the causal fan, yeah, Luol [Deng] is definitely under the radar,'' Bulls forward Taj Gibson said. "But to the players around the league, they know him. And you know what? A lot of people might not know you, but as long as you got that good paycheck in your grasp … his pockets aren't hurting, that's for sure.''
And if that's all Deng was about, maybe that would be enough. Maybe being in the shadows of more popular small forwards such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul Pierce would be just fine. After all, Deng still has two more years on his current contract, bringing in $13.3 million this season and $14.3 million next.
Meanwhile, amongst small forwards in the East, Deng was fourth in scoring (17.6 points per game), and rebounding (7.4). That doesn't even take into account that he leads the league in minutes played, as well as the fact he usually draws the toughest defensive assignments on a nightly basis.