CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey spoke to media Thursday after his first minicamp practice as an NFL running back, he said he would be in favor of changing the rule that prohibited him from participating in offseason workouts until his college, Stanford, ended its school year.
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Tom Savage Limited Jersey About 24 hours later at a Charlotte hotel located 1.4 miles southeast of Bank of America Stadium, NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent explained why McCaffrey and those who agree with the 21-year-old won’t be getting what they want anytime soon.
I’ve always wanted to be an All-Star, wanted to be a dude that can help lead the team, LaVine said. At Minnesota, it was us three young guys and we were all building each other up. Andrew and Karl were No. 1 picks, so this might be the first time that I get really more of the center stage. It’s going to be a little bit different. I’ve got to go in there and be a leader. I have to go in there and be someone that can lead a team and someone that can help out and try to build this place back up.
LaVine is an athletically gifted scorer, who averaged 18.9 points last season before an ACL tear forced him to sit. Considering so much of LaVine’s ability comes from his athleticism, one has to wonder how much of an impact this ACL tear will have on him. The timetable for his return is still uncertain, and the Bulls have to make a decision next year on his team option.
As for LaVine’s All-Star aspirations, it may be difficult to gain much attention on the Bulls. The team has been stripped of most of its stars, as it looks possible that Dwyane Wade could get bought out of his contract in free agency.
LaVine is right about taking center stage, but with his ACL recovery and the rebuilding process in Chicago, it may take a while for him to be an All-Star player, if at all. But it’s good he has high aspirations about his new role with the Bulls.