DeMar DeRozan is one of the greatest players in the history of the Toronto Raptors. However, it was trading him away that led the Raptors to complete their ascension to NBA Champions. DeRozan hasn’t replicated his Toronto success in San Antonio. He spoke to J. J. Redick about how it feels to watch his former teammates become champions without him.
“It definitely was tough. I was there 9 years, went through everything. Accomplished so much things that people said we’ll never be able to do. I think for me that was what drove me, my whole career-all the naysayers. My whole time there, of us trying to build a winning program. For me to turn an all-star starter, see the all-star game come to Toronto, make the playoffs, win every type of awards you can think of, and kind of trend in the right direction.”
DeMar also spoke about not being able to have a non-LeBron playoff run. “For the only person we lost to, to leave, and us not being able to get a chance to see how that might have been like, for me personally. To leave and see what these guys went and did. It was tough. I’m not even going to lie. Especially once we lost in the playoffs and you see them winning, you kinda feel like ‘damn was I the problem’?”
DeMar was wonderful for the years he spent as a Raptor. His chemistry with Kyle Lowry was electric, and DeRozan elevated his play to one of the best in the league. However, his Raptors kept running into LeBron James in the playoffs. The LeBron led Cleveland Cavaliers beat Toronto in the playoffs for each of the four years LeBron spent in Cleveland after returning from the Miami Heat.
DeRozan watched the NBA Playoff from home, as his San Antonio Spurs couldn’t book a playoff spot. DeRozan played well in the bubble, but the Spurs missed veteran big-man LaMarcus Aldridge and couldn’t get over the bottleneck situation created in the race for the eighth seed. However, they look to come back strong next season.
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