Derrick Rose

Chicago's Max Strus grew up on Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose

Max Strus attended Stagg High School, Lewis and DePaul University in Chicago and once played for the Bulls.

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Max Strus grew up watching Jimmy Butler play on the Chicago Bulls from the humble suburbs of Hickory Hills on the southwest side of the city. 

"When I was a kid growing up in Chicago, him and Derrick Rose were my favorite players to watch," Strus said on NBC Sports Chicago's Football Night in Chicago. "To be able to be on his team and share this journey of his career has been nothing short of astonishing. Just so happy to be here and so happy to help him."

Strus has stuck around in Illinois for the majority of his life. He attended Stagg High School in Hickory Hills before he attended Lewis University and DePaul University in Chicago. 

He went undrafted in 2019 and went through short-lived stints with the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls before finding a niche with the Miami Heat as a catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter with a strong work ethic on the floor. 

While with the Bulls, he played five games going back and forth between the NBA and G-League. He tore his ACL while with the Bulls and lost his spot on the team for Javonte Green the following season. He signed with the Miami Heat over the proceeding offseason. 

Now, in his third season in the NBA, he's helped author a historic playoff run with the 8-seed Heat, who won the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday against the Boston Celtics. He's averaging just over 10 points per game and shooting 36 percent from three during the playoffs this season. 

If Bulls fans remember, Strus dominated the Bulls in the final game of the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, raining down 31 points on seven 3-pointers. 

MORE: The 'Strus is loose' against his former, hometown team

He earned the respect of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, who tipped their caps to the undrafted 3-point sniper after the game. 

His most important and special Chicago tie, thus far in his career, has been Jimmy Butler, who shares a special relationship with Strus. Nothing means more to Strus than to help and watch Butler lead the Heat to a successful postseason run. 

"Honestly, he deserves it," Strus said of Butler. "He deserves to be here and he deserves everybody shining a light his way. He's a special player in this league. He's carried us to this point and will continue to do that." ​

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