Title: DeMar DeRozan’s Loyalty to the Toronto Raptors Was Admirable
Date: July 18, 2018
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: In my latest for Vice, I wrote about the difficult feelings involved with the Raptors trading DeMar DeRozan, who was unshakably loyal to the team and unspeakably important to the city.
“Don’t worry, I got us…”
For the last eight years, the immortal tweet from DeMar DeRozan in response to Chris Bosh leaving for the Miami Heat has been a comfort for Toronto Raptors fans. In the moment, it seemed too bold a claim. DeRozan, coming off a shaky rookie season and then only 21 years old, did not yet look the part of franchise player. The confidence was appreciated; the degree to which it would ring true was unexpected.
The Raptors have traversed a great distance in the time since. There were some painful years in the immediate aftermath, and as they ran their course, DeRozan’s slow ascension was one of the lone bright spots. There was Andrea Bargnani, Rudy Gay, a number of ill-fated or short-sighted trades, a coaching change, and a five-year stretch without a playoff berth. DeRozan offered reprieve with Slam Dunk Contest theatrics, improved shooting and ball-handling, and glimpses of an All-Star future, the hint of a spark that if nothing else, the Raptors had a piece to keep building with and around.