Zach LaVine explains why he’s not shutting it down for season despite knee injury
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine is patiently awaiting to get clearance to return to the court, while head coach Jim Boylen has played the careful approach, as his star shooting guard missed the last two games with a knee injury. However, LaVine has no intentions of shutting it down for the year, even if Boylen is hoping to tactfully level expectations.
Boylen was previously noncommittal to a target date for LaVine’s return, but the 24-year-old was a full participant in practice on Thursday, listed as probably for Friday’s game against the L.A. Clippers.
“I just want to preface (Zach’s imminent return) so we understand: If somebody is hurt or needs to sit out, they will sit out,” said Boylen, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. “If somebody is in jeopardy of a long-term issue, we are going to do the right thing.”
LaVine echoed Boylen’s caution, but noted he won’t sit out just to do so, hoping to build on the chemistry he’s managed to enjoy with his teammates this season.
“That’s just not who I am. That’s not what I do,” said Zach LaVine when asked of the potential of sitting out for the rest of the season. “It’s going to be good for the team. We can get our chemistry down, continue to play well, build things for next year.”
“I’m not somebody that’s going to sit out. If I’m hurt, there’s no reason to try to risk anything. But if I’m not, I’m going to play. I’ve already missed enough games I feel like for my career. I missed a whole year and a half because of that (ACL tear).”
LaVine is enjoying his best season as a pro, and one he will like to finish fully after signing a four-year, $78 million extension with the team over the summer. His averages of 23.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game peg him as more than just a scorer, but an evolved all-around player that is now one of the pillars of this team moving forward.