DeMar DeRozan has been a member of the San Antonio Spurs for one week and Toronto Raptors fans are still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that the franchise’s all-time leading scorer will not be calling Toronto home next season.
On Tuesday night the four-time NBA All-Star sat down with ESPN’s Chris Haynes to let everything out from what he was told leading up to the trade to the lack of respect he feels he got from the Raptors, to his relationship with Masai Ujiri and much more. The 28-year-old admit he was taken back when he heard the news and didn’t think it was real, so it’s not surprising that he reached out to Kyle Lowry almost immediately, even if it meant waking up his point guard in the middle of the night.
CH: Have you talked to Kyle Lowry?
DD:Yeah, I talk to Kyle every day.
CH: What was that conversation like initially?
DD:I remember when I found out it was 12 a.m. in LA. I blew his phone up. He was in Philly, it was 2, 3 o'clock in the morning. Blowing his phone up till he answered. He answered and I told him, and you could tell he was sleeping. He was like 'What?' He just sounded out of it. My phone was going crazy, I said 'Imma hit you man, it ain't out yet, it'll be out in the morning.' I woke up in the morning, he sent me a long text. He couldn't believe it. But he gave me some words that helped me through the whole day, what to prepare for. As him just being my brother, outside of my teammate, he was there for me in that moment. You could tell it affected him as well, so it was cool just to have that support from him.
CH: Is there anything that you could share that sticks out about what he told you?
DD:Nah, I'll let him do it at some point. He hasn't said nothing. He didn't even want to put no [social media] posts up, because whenever he speaks, it's definitely going to be something that's from the heart.
Since DeRozan was in Los Angeles and Kyle Lowry was in Philadelphia when the news broke, DeMar wasn’t able to see his best friend the day that it happened. However, he did have someone in the organization close by in Drake and he reached out to the NBA guard almost immediately after it happened.
CH: Drake reach out?
DD: Yeah, day it came out, I went to Drake's house. Me and him, sat and talked for a couple of hours. Not even on some hoops stuff. Just to hear the words that come from him being the person that he is in this world, especially in Toronto. What I meant to this city. It was what I needed.
While DeRozan may no longer be a member of the Raptors there are certainly some guys within the organization that he still considers family.