You can watch the full 15 minute interview here if you want, but I want to focus on that clip above. It must be so weird to be DeMar DeRozan and see your old team playing in the Finals and having all this success without you. It’s one thing to happen during the season when you can ignore it and focus on your own team, but the second his Spurs were eliminated and he was able to watch the Raptors go all the way to the Finals has to be brutal for a guy who didn’t want to leave in the first place. He was about as committed to the Raptors as you can get as a star player, his best friend was on the team, and I’m sure he thought he would spend the rest of his career with that franchise.
But the facts are the facts, they weren’t getting over the hump with DeRozan. It’s not a knock on him that bringing in Kawhi fucking Leonard is an upgrade, he’s one of the best 5ish players in the entire league. They got out of his contract and brought in a better player, that’s just good business. If you look at it from the Raptors front office position, they saw an opportunity to really go for it and do something drastic that they felt made them legit contenders now that LeBron was out of the East. If that means treating DeRozan as a sacrificial lamb well sometimes shit happens. At least he was traded to a great franchise in San Antonio, so things could have definitely been worse.
Honestly listening to DeRozan, that’s such an awkward position to be in. On one hand you want your best friend to win, but at the same time who really wants to see your ex flourish without you? I feel like it would be totally acceptable if DeRozan became the biggest Warriors fan on the planet. I feel like I’m holding a grudge 10 out of 10 times in that situation. It’s not like TOR gave him a shot with LeBron gone and then traded him after not getting it done, he probably feels like they still probably could have made the Finals anyway considering he was their boogeyman. Instead, he seems to have a very level headed and mature way of looking at that whole situation which I found surprising.
At the end of the day DeRozan will for sure have his jersey retired in TOR (if they ever get around to doing that sort of thing, after Vince Carter/Chris Bosh of course) and if history tells us anything the Spurs most likely find their way to a Finals at some point. He’ll be OK. If you want to talk about a real bone job, well I feel like Dwane Casey has a point because he never ever had this current collection of talent during his tenure in TOR. That guy is definitely still salty.