DeMar DeRozan’s screaming daughter was the key to Bulls’ play-in victory vs. Raptors

Everyone watching the Toronto Raptors vs. the Chicago Bulls in the 2023 NBA play-in tournament on Wednesday night noticed the same thing early in the game. It was impossible not to notice it. Whenever the Raptors stepped to the foul line, a woman started loudly shrieking as they attempted their free throws.

The person in question did not stop the making the high-pitched, piercing cry all night. If the Raptors shot a free throw, she was doing her best to distract them. It was working: even as Toronto built a 19-point lead against Chicago in the elimination game, the Raps were missing a bunch of the line.

ESPN eventually identified the shrieker as Diar DeRozan, the young daughter of Bulls star DeMar DeRozan. Eventually, all those missed free throws caught up to the Raptors and ended their season.

The Bulls beat Toronto, 109-105, in the play-in game. Toronto’s season is over, and it happened in large part because they shot 18-of-36 from the free throw line. Diar DeRozan legitimately made a huge contribution to her dad’s team winning a knockout game.

Here’s the video of ESPN finally identifying the screamer as DeRozan’s daughter.

Here’s Diar forcing the Raptors into one of their 18 misses on the night.

Toronto had a chance to tie the game late when Pascal Siakam stepped to the line for three free throws with the Raptors down three. There was only one thing standing in his way: a shrieking Diar DeRozan.

Siakam missed.

Diar DeRozan free throw screams supercut in Bulls-Raptors play-in game

She really put in a full 48 minute performance. She was screaming to distract the Raptors at the foul line from the start of the game to the very end of it.

The Raptors made 78.4 percent of their free throws on the year as a team. In their biggest game of the season, they shot 50 percent from the foul line and missed 18 free throws. Unbelievable.

The context here makes the whole story even better. According to one source, Diar DeRozan was born in May 2013, which means she’s about to turn 10. In 2013, her father DeMar was the star player for the Raptors. DeRozan turned the Raptors into a winning team — they won 50+ games three seasons in a row, and made one trip to the Eastern Conference Finals — but they could never breakthrough to the Finals.

Here’s a photo of DeMar and Diar during their Toronto years together:

Toronto then traded DeRozan to San Antonio in 2018 for Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors famously won the championship the very next year, and then Leonard left for LA.

DeRozan has always been very open about his struggles with mental health, and has admitted how hard that trade was for him. Toronto loves DeMar and DeMar loves Toronto, but getting traded from the team that drafted him and watching them win a title the next season with his replacement was the low point of his professional career.

For one night, DeRozan’s daughter helped him get some revenge and end the Raptors’ season.

Next up, the Bulls play the Miami Heat, and the winner gets the No. 8 seed in the NBA Playoffs — which means a first round matchup with the mighty Milwaukee Bucks. For now, DeMar says Diar can’t come to the game because she has to be in school.

We’ll see if that changes.

The Bulls’ season would be over if not for Diar DeRozan’s elite screaming ability. The Bulls know who their real MVP is:

By the way, Zach LaVine scored 39 points in the Bulls’ win in what was the best game of his career. That’s great, but for one night. Diar DeRozan stole the show.

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