This is cool as hell. DeMar DeRozan is someone who has been super open about two things in recent years: his desire to play his entire career with the Toronto Raptors and his ongoing battles with depression. Just a few days after the Raptors promised he wouldn’t be traded, he was shipped to San Antonio for Kawhi. On Mickstape a few weeks back we had Romeo Miller on. He grew up with DeMar, played AAU with him and went to USC to hoop together. He told us that the trade absolutely crushed DeRozan, which isn’t some big shock, but to hear one of his childhood friends say he hasn’t been opening up much since the deal – for someone so open about their depression – sucked to hear.
Obviously no one can blame the Raptors for making this move. It’s fucking Kawhi Leonard: a Finals MVP, a top five player in the League, one of the best defensive wings of all time. The Raptors spun their wheels in the mud for years and couldn’t get to the level they wanted with the same roster they brought back year-in, year-out. When a trade like that presents itself you have to make it. That’s just good business. And I’m not gonna preach the same old “These guys have feelings too they’re not just numbers on a stat sheet” bullshit. DeMar DeRozan was hardly the first player to ever be traded or lied to by a front office. But he is just the second player ever to drop a 20-point triple double on his former team’s headtop in their first meeting after a trade, leading his team to a 20-piece victory. And that’s cool as hell. The only thing that could have made it better is if it happened in Toronto.