DeMar DeRozan often gets comparisons to Kobe Bryant because of his dominance in the mid-range and connections to Los Angeles, but he has never been more similar than this season.

The big change in DeRozan’s game this year has been his ability to shoot the three. After putting in extensive offseason work, DeMar has upped his 3P% by over 100 points while taking nearly double the amount he had in the past. Now, as he pushes toward another all-star appearance, some Raptors fans are comparing him to some MVP caliber seasons.

It may surprise you to know that Kobe Bryant only ever won one MVP award and the stats from that year are eerily similar to DeRozan’s this year. As Sam Esfandiari points out, when using per possession and per minute stats, these are some of the stat lines that match up:

Per 36 Minutes

DeMar DeRozan (2017-18)  26.1 4.4   5.3 1.2 .479 .378  2.3 
 Kobe Bryant (2007-08) 26.2  5.8 5.0 1.7  .459 .361  2.9


Player PER TS% ORtg DRtg
 DeMar DeRozan (2017-18)  23.8 .579   118 108 
 Kobe Bryant (2007-08)   24.2 .576  115 105 



DeRozan has actually shot a higher true shooting percentage and has been more effiecient on both ends of the floor, but Kobe had a little more volume because he played more.

Kobe has tweeted in support of DeRozan several times and even issued him a challenge at the beginning of the season. He probably won a couple MVPs in his time growing up in Compton, so perhaps that can be the lost friendship that he can re-kindle.