Deng’s role, along with the meteoric rise of Rose and the irrepressible passion of Joakim Noah, seared into a fan base’s collective hearts.
Like the Dick Motta-led teams featuring Chet Walker, Bob Love, Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Lier, that era produced zero championships but countless you-remember-it-still moments.
Deng, who signed a four-year, $72 million deal in 2016 and averaged a career-low 7.6 points in 56 games last season, has played a grand total of 13 minutes in one meager appearance.
Noah, who just left the Knicks for personal reasons amid reports he yelled at coach Jeff Hornacek out of frustration, has sat inactive for all three Bulls-Knicks meetings.
In a reflective mood, Deng credited veterans like Malik Allen, Antonio Davis, Adrian Griffin, Ben Wallace and Kurt Thomas for helping him early in his career.
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