ABC7 On Your Sideline: the Bulls' Luol Deng

January 30, 2012 4:21:48 AM PST
ABC7's Jim Rose went 1-on-1 with Luol Deng to get Bulls forward's thoughts on getting past the Heat and his plans for life after basketball.

Jim Rose: When you're done with basketball, what do you want people to remember you for?

Luol Deng: Basketball's done a lot of good things for me. What I'm passionate about is really helping others, making a difference somehow. I come from a country that needs a lot, needs a lot of help, needs a lot of hope. Basketball's really put me on the map for some people to pay attention to what I'm trying to do.

Jim Rose: Do you allow yourself to maybe just look forward just a little bit and as you look around the league and say, "Wow, we are so positioned to get to the finals this year?"

Luol Deng: You can't, you can't. I think once you do that, just in anything, even if it's not basketball, whatever you're doing, as soon as you start feeling that comfort and start assuming things, that's when you're really going to get knock down. To be a winner every day, I got to get ready for the

As soon as I start thinking we're the best team, we're going to win it all, it's going to be handed to us, that's really not the case. You got a lot of guys out there, in my mind, that are working on their game right now, that are working with the Bulls as their target. With all this love and praise that we get, guys are watching. Having an MVP on your team, guys are getting excited to play you. Having won 62 games, coach of the year, coaches want to beat "Thibs." It's so easy for teams to be motivated against us and we can't allow that. We have to have our own motivation when we go against them.

Jim Rose: I'm sure you know about Bulls history and the Michael Jordan era. The team that they had to get past was the Detroit Pistons and I'll never forget when they finally got past them. It was such a weight lifted off their shoulders. I think for you guys especially last season and this season it's probably going to be the Miami Heat.

Luol Deng: Yeah, I mean we lost to them. We've got to focus first of all on our self as a team. But, like you said, the Miami Heat's the team that beat us last year. They got pretty much the same team that came back and we got pretty much the same team. The goal for us is always going to be to past them. When we walk onto the floor the confidence is there, but, now, say we face the Heat again, we got that memory of what happened last year. So we take that experience into play and it's going to be a different series.