DeRozan selected for all-star team; Brunson left out

The respect DeMar DeRozan has earned across the NBA outweighed the Bulls' disappointing performance this season.

DeRozan on Thursday was named one of the Eastern Conference reserves for the Feb. 19 All-Star Game in Salt Lake City. This is the sixth all-star selection for DeRozan and the second in a row since joining the Bulls in 2021.

"It's beyond exciting, man," DeRozan said before the Bulls played Charlotte on Thursday night. "I couldn't even lie to you, there's a lot of stuff I still don't believe that I've accomplished. Being from Compton, California, being through all the stuff I've been through, personal, career-wise, just to still be honored as an all-star is definitely an honor."

DeRozan is averaging 26.3 points, so he definitely had the numbers to merit a selection. But this is often a team-related honor and the Bulls went into Thursday's game with a 23-27 record.

"It stinks, because I wish it was more of a team thing for sure, but it's definitely an honor just to be able to be respected by the coaches and the players and just everything across the board," he said. "It's definitely an honor. It means a lot. I never take nothing like that lightly or for granted at all. I'm honored, I'm very appreciative of it."

The rest of the Eastern Conference reserves are Philadelphia's Joel Embiid, Boston's Jaylen Brown, Miami's Bam Adebayo, Indiana's Tyrese Haliburton, Milwaukee's Jrue Holiday and New York's Julius Randle.

Maybe the biggest snub in the East was Stevenson High School grad Jalen Brunson not making the team over his New York Knicks teammate Randle. Brunson is averaging 22.8 and 6.2 assists in his first season since moving from Dallas as a free agent. Toronto's Pascal Siakam was probably the other player who has a right to feel left out.

The West reserves include former Bull Lauri Markkanen, who will represent the hometown Jazz; Memphis' Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., the Clippers' Paul George, Sacramento's Domantas Sabonis, Portland's Damian Lillard and Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

DeRozan made the all-star team four times in a row when he played for Toronto, then had a three-year hiatus after being traded to San Antonio. Last year with the Bulls, he was voted a starter.

"I hope anybody out there, whatever field you work in, never listen to the outside noise of people doubting you, counting you out, everything," DeRozan said. "As long as you're true to yourself, you believe in yourself, you keep putting in the work with a genuine heart and genuine passion, you'll be rewarded."

The starters in the East, named in January, are Milwaukee's Gianiia Antetokounmpo, Boston's Jayson Tatum, Cleveland's Donovan Mitchell, and Brooklyn's Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

For the West: LeBron James of the Lakers, Denver's Nikola Jokic, New Orleans' Zion Williamson, Golden State's Stephen Curry, and Dallas' Luka Doncic.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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