LeBron James Gives Honest Take on DeMar DeRozan’s Raptors Legacy

Published 09/05/2021, 10:00 AM EDT
May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Phoenix Suns during the second half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


One of the toughest and most emotional trades for the Toronto Raptors was shipping DeMar DeRozan. Not only was he a fan favorite, but in the nine years of his career with him, he achieved. It was unfortunate that he could not win the first championship of the franchise as he had already moved to the San Antonio Spurs. His legacy and impact will live on. But this offseason, Kyle Lowry was also traded off to the Miami Heat and a debate around their jersey retirement has hit social media badly and LeBron James seems to think DeMar deserves it as well.

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LeBron James advocates for DeMar DeRozan

In the 2009 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors used their ninth overall pick to acquire DeMar DeRozan. And it didn’t take very long for him to make a name for himself. With his hard work and commitment, he even made it to the All-Star game in his fifth season. And this was followed by him helping Toronto securing a place for themselves in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

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So, when his trade went down, along with Jakob Poeltl, to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, it was a sad day for Raptors fans. At the time, the decision seemed skeptical. Although it worked in their favor and they won an NBA title, DeRozan was gone, but his contributions were never forgotten.

And just a month back, the Raptors announced that they planned on retiring Kyle Lowry’s jersey when he retires. Lowry and he shared a great friendship and DeRozan even responded in his own way to this news. However, fans were still discussing whether DeRozan deserves it too as well. And when this question was posed by ‘thehoopfilms’ on Instagram, LeBron was quick to comment. He wrote, “THAT’S A REAL QUESTION??? LOL THEY REALLY SHOULD.” 

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Will the Toronto Raptors consider this?

Lowry is going to be the first player from the Raptors to have his jersey retired. And there is no doubt that he deserves it. But one can’t help but wonder how DeRozan feels when he entered this team three seasons before Kyle and journeyed with them through their ups and downs.

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He brought about a cultural change that turned the Raptors from an irrelevant franchise to a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. If LeBron cares enough to voice his opinion, imagine what his fans would be going through.

DeMar DeRozan enters at the 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Nevertheless, every franchise shares a different opinion on what boxes does a player needs to tick to get his jersey required. Whether it’s solely the achievements or even the sentiment. Who can tell what Toronto thinks? But they definitely should consider this.

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Yashima Bhatia

1471 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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