DeMar will become the 143rd NBA player to reach the 1000 career games mark—151st overall, counting players from the ABA.
Chicago Bulls ' Monday matchup against the Atlanta Hawks will be 1000th career game for DeMar DeRozan , a milestone the 33-year-old doesn't take for granted.
“You just saying that is a humbling thing, especially for me understanding the history of the game. Some players don’t get the chance to even come close to that. Just to have that opportunity to get there---knock on wood---it’s a helluva milestone. It’s a lot of games," DeRozan said, per NBC Sports Chicago.
Antidote to load management
DeMar will become the 143rd NBA player to reach the 1000 career games mark—151st overall, counting players from the ABA. But he's far from reaching burnout.
In fact, DeRozan's love for the game is as strong as its ever been. That's why the 5x All-Star didn't like sitting out Chicago's three straight games with a quad injury prior to the team's Paris trip. It's also why he doesn't like the team's week-long break between the matchup against the Detroit Pistons and their upcoming game against the Hawks.
“That’s me being able to play against that old era of the NBA,” the star forward said. “It’s crazy; I was telling the young guys just the other day: When I first came into this league, you couldn’t sit out a practice or game, or your spot was gone. That was the mentality. If you’re hurt, you better figure out how you’re going to play."
It's hard to pinpoint times DeRozan left games or sat out due to load management. He even played through a quad soreness before aggravating the injury on January 9 against the Boston Celtics.
DeMar takes great pride in his availability. That's something he admired about his idols. It's also something he wants to be remembered for when it's time to hang it up.
“Some of my favorite players hardly ever missed games. I always try to take care of myself as best I can because I want to play every single game. I always want to be the guy you can count on every single night to be out there. And I want my teammates to feel that as well," DeRozan said.
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