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The championship title has proven elusive for James Harden so far in his career
  1. NBA

NBA: LaVine hails All-Star starter DeRozan

Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine says he is the "ultimate team guy" and as such is delighted DeMar DeRozan has been selected as a starter in the All-Star game.

The Bulls are 25/1 to win the NBA Championship outright and 10/11 to beat Portland Trail Blazers with a -6.5 handicap in the Point Spread when the two teams meet in Chicago on Sunday.

LaVine linking well with DeRozan

Chicago moved to bring in DeRozan ahead of the current campaign in a deal which has proven to be inspired, but at the time was questioned.

LaVine had been Chicago's only genuine star for a number of years and some critics felt he would be unable to form a strong partnership with another big name in the shape of DeRozan.

Those fears have been unfounded and both are having impressive seasons.  DeRozan is averaging 26.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists and has been selected for the All-Star game for a fifth time, and the first since 2018.

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LaVine, who is averaging 25 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists, was selected as a starter last year as he earned his first All-Star call.

DeRozan and Atlanta's Trae Young have been selected as the starting guards in the Eastern Pool, while LaVine just missed out as he finished third in fan and media voting and second in player voting.

The 25-year-old is confident he will be announced as one of the coach's reserves on Thursday, but regardless he says DeRozan and Young deserve their places and stressed his priority this season is helping the Bulls win.

LaVine enjoys team rewards

"He should get the credit. I'm not feeling any way towards that. I think by the way that I've shown: I just want to win," said LaVine, via NBC Chicago.

"That was the narrative about me for so long and people didn't really know me or give me a fair shake. They just threw their opinion out on me.

"I'm the ultimate team guy, I feel like. I'm so happy for my team-mates and their success.

"We're going to enjoy the weekend, but as fun as that will be, that's not what this season is about."

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