Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan is having perhaps the best season on his NBA career at age 32. To date, he’s averaging a career-best 26.2 points per game to go along with 4.8 assists and 49.3 percent shooting from the field. He is certainly in consideration for an All-NBA spot and an All-Star nod as the Bulls are currently first in the Eastern Conference.
So, how has DeRozan gotten better at this stage in his career? In a new interview with ESPN, DeRozan credits the late Kobe Bryant on how he approaches his game and his desire to continuously improve.
“You play the piano long enough you’re going to get better at it. You will understand certain keys a little bit better, certain tones,” DeRozan told ESPN. “That’s how I look at my game and that’s how I wanted to approach my game. … That was one thing I learned from Kobe [Bryant]. As long as you play, if you’re not continuously getting better at one thing, you will continue to be the same player. Even if you improve one thing a season, after a span of time, by the time you are done you have got better at X amount of things.”
There’s something to be said about DeRozan taking this approach to his game and showing that NBA players are not all finished products by the time they are out of their early 20s. Improving as a player and developing your craft is something that doesn’t stop, particularly for the league’s very best players. And DeRozan learning from Bryant, someone who he got to known over the years and clearly idolized, makes all the sense in the world. It’s also a reminder to not assume players are done evolving.