DeMar DeRozan delivered some variation of the word “win” 12 times during his introductory news conference Friday.
Alex Caruso did the same on seven occasions. Lonzo Ball reached six.
As first impressions go, the Bulls couldn’t have scripted a better start for their prized free-agent acquisitions. Even better for a long-suffering fan base is that the team didn’t have to.
Substance and seriousness have supplanted smoke and mirrors. The Bulls didn’t need to sell anything on a frenetic Friday that featured three virtual news conferences because they added legitimate players who make them undeniably better. Arturas Karnišovas, the chief executive overseeing this extreme home makeover, wasn’t even a part of Friday’s festivities.
But a theme quickly emerged, and it became crystal clear what these new Bulls are all about.
“They haven’t had the best seasons the last few years, and (I wanted to be) a part of that, wanting to change it back around, bring back that winning mentality,” DeRozan said. “Every guy, when I look at that roster, has a chip on their shoulders. Me knowing Vooch (Nikola Vucevic) since college, I know what type of player he is, how bad he wants to win. Zach (LaVine is) wanting to be on that main stage and wanting to compete for something much more than just stats during the season. Myself, I always carried a chip on my shoulder. And Lonzo putting all those mentalities together. Even Caruso coming from a winning program … it’s so much there that could bring so much potential.”
As if he hadn’t been heard the first time, DeRozan drifted back to the theme when asked how he envisions the new pieces fitting.