This season, Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine tested positive for COVID-19, marking the second time the two-time Slam Dunk champion has dealt with the virus. LaVine contracted COVID-19 last season, and the Bulls went 4-7 without him.
LaVine’s bout with COVID-19 this season was much better than the first time. He only missed two games, and the Bulls went undefeated without him, thanks to DeMar DeRozan, who scored 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers and 26 versus the Houston Rockets.
Although LaVine spent his time in quarantine at a hotel to keep his wife safe, he somehow gained weight during his second bout with COVID-19 since he was asymptomatic this time around.
Zach LaVine gained six pounds during quarantine from working out
While speaking to reporters for the first time since exiting health and safety protocols, LaVine said he gained six pounds during quarantine from working out. Along with working out, the All-Star played video games and watched Netflix while he was at a hotel.
“What was easier about it was I knew what to expect,” LaVine said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “And I didn’t have any symptoms, so that helped. Just the isolation sucks. I was away from my wife, away from my family. I got out of my house just to keep her safe. I was at a hotel playing video games and watching Netflix every day.”
Many people lose weight after contracting COVID-19. Last season, Miami Heat small forward Jimmy Butler lost more than 12 pounds while he was in health and safety protocols. Fortunately for LaVine, he was asymptomatic and able to put on weight.
Behind LaVine and DeRozan, the Bulls are in second place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both guards have been in health and safety protocols, but the Bulls are ready to retake flight now that they’re back.
Bulls look like contenders with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan
In August, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley wrote that the Bulls’ acquisition of DeRozan was the worst move in free agency. Boy, was he wrong. DeRozan is averaging 26.8 points while shooting 50.0% from the field for the Bulls, and LaVine has been in awe of his new teammate.
“Dude is incredible, man,” LaVine said of DeRozan. “I got high standards for myself, but there are certain things you just gotta tip your hat to.”
LaVine is having a stellar season as well. He’s averaging 26.0 points and shooting 49.0% overall and 39.1% from beyond the arc. The Bulls are well on their way to making the playoffs for the first time since 2017. They’re 12th in scoring and ninth in opponent points per game. The additions of DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso have paid enormous dividends for Chicago since LaVine doesn’t have to do everything like last season.
Bulls are no longer so dependent on one player
The Bulls usually lost when LaVine was out of the lineup or didn’t perform well the past couple of seasons. Those days are over now that the UCLA Bruin is playing with DeRozan, Ball, Caruso, and Nikola Vucevic.
DeRozan, LaVine, Nucevic, and Ball are averaging double-figures for the Bulls. Ball and Caruso are also two of the best defenders in the NBA. The former is ninth in the NBA in steals per game, while the latter is tied for third.
The Bulls’ next scheduled game is Dec. 26 at home versus the Indiana Pacers. LaVine is expected to play, and Chicago head coach Billy Donovan is eager to get his whole team back.
“As we get whole, we have to find roles, rotations. Forty-eight hours ago, we were trying to figure out who is playing and who isn’t. Now we have a bit more of a menu of players,” Donovan said. “You have to build out a first unit and second unit and build a chemistry and connectedness that you need to have that we had for a period of time but lost because all we’ve had to deal with.”
The Bulls are thrilled that LaVine’s second bout with COVID-19 wasn’t as bad as his first. It’s not common for people to gain weight while they have COVID-19, but LaVine did, and he’s ready to get rolling again.