DeMar DeRozan is one of the greatest players in Toronto Raptors history. His nine-year stint with the organization is highlighted by a number of notable accomplishments.
Unfortunately, the thing that most will remember about DeRozan’s time in Toronto is the way it ended.
In 2018, he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in return for Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard would go on to lead the Raptors to their first ever franchise championship, before ultimately bolting for the Los Angeles Clippers the following summer.
Recently, DeRozan admitted in a conversation with Draymond Green for Bleacher Report that the Raptors trade “hurt like s**t.”
“I went to Vegas, we all met, had a f**king dinner, have a sit down and have a conversation about like, alright, we about to do this thing,” he said. “We’re about to give it one more shot, blah blah blah. And two days later, you get a call. That was the s**t that hurt. Tell me beforehand like, we’re thinking about doing this. He calls me, so, one, I’m in the movie theaters. To this day, I do not watch this movie. Equalizer 2.
“My phone keeps ringing. It’s Massai so I’m like ‘what the f**k.’ So he texted me and he said, ‘Deebo, give me a call when you get a chance.’ So as soon as I get a text back, I get on the Gram. I’m like, I don’t see nothing on the Gram. I’m on Twitter, I’m googling s**t. So I’m like ‘alright.’ So I leave the movie theater, get in the car, give him a call back. He didn’t answer. He calls back, and he asks ‘how was the movie?’ Like, some casual s**t. He was like ‘so yeah, we just traded you to San Antonio. I just wanted to let you know it’s going to come out in the morning.
“And I was like, literally bro, I touched the driver, I said ‘stop the car.’ I got out the car and just walked down the street, hung up the phone, and just sat outside at a Jack-in-the-Box for two hours. It was one of the toughest times ever because I really didn’t have no guidance with this s**t.”
While DeRozan previously offered up a fairly NSFW answer to the Leonard trade, this is the first time he has gone over it in such raw detail.
It’s easy to see why he is still so torn up about it.
That’s one way to celebrate. https://t.co/OX5YxYtIyy
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 21, 2021
That said – DeRozan is still a very respected player around the league. LeBron James’ recent comments about him are telling. And if not for one major roadblock, he might’ve been James’ Los Angeles Lakers teammate this year.
DeRozan is going to have a big season with the Chicago Bulls in 2020-21. Hopefully he can take solace in that and realize everything happens for a reason. He may not have a championship yet – but his career isn’t anywhere close to wrapping up. There’s still time.