Chalk this up to the “not surprising” category at this point, but DeMar DeRozan really likes Toronto and wants to be great here. That’s the jist of this longform interview with The Undefeated, where DeRozan discusses his equal love for Compton and Toronto.
He also discussed free agency, where he turned down meetings with the Lakers, Clippers, and Heat to settle something quickly with the Raptors.
That’s just me. If I knew where I wanted to be from the beginning … I didn’t want to waste anybody’s time and just hear somebody else talk or say something when I know in the back of my mind that I want to do something else. As long as that something else was mutual, there was no point of me doing anything else.
I don’t want to waste anybody’s time. I didn’t want to give false hope if I knew what I felt inside was right. And that was me going back.
In the interview, he talks about building a legacy that no other Raptors player has — playing his entire career with one team.
I’ve never had to because, to me, that’s an amazing thing. I want to be that guy that you look up and he played for one jersey. Nothing against the people who played for multiple teams, but I want to be able to go through the good, go through the bad with one team, and realize that at the end of my career I can potentially play for one organization. Everything I’ve built through that time could be motivation for somebody else just like Kobe was for me and Tim Duncan.
He also wants to be [DJ Khaled voice] “THE BEST” Raptors player of all time.
Without a doubt. No question. How many people get to say they hold one record for an organization, or were on the winningest team in Raptors history, or did this with one organization? All of those things last longer than your playing career. It took time for me to get out of the second round [of the playoffs] in Raptors history. And we did that [this year], and that’s something that is going to be there.
If we don’t do it and someone else wins a championship, they are still going to revert back to the 2015-16 team as the best team until then. Ten, 15, 20 years from now, whatever it might be, those things last longer. It’s something you put your all into.
Finally, DeMar has some thoughts on the US Presidential Election — as we all do.
We were in Oklahoma City. You see the outcome just as everybody else. It was one of those things where you look at it like, ‘Is this a TV sitcom?’ You don’t know what is going on. You just try to hope for the best no matter the outcome. I hope it don’t turn out to be something negative.
There is only so much you can control. With that, you just got to hope for the best. For me, you got to personally do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your family.
You can check out the entire interview here.