It’s clear that DeMar DeRozan will be missed in The Six.
DeMar DeRozan was the Toronto Raptors.
You don’t have to get confirmation from Drake to know this, though his Instagram post dedicated to No. 10 only cemented that DeMar was truly a legend in The Six. DeRozan, an L.A. kid who is used to sunny weather year-round, not only proudly represented Canada’s largest city, he embraced everything about it.
In turn, the city embraced him.
One could feel that love when reading Drake’s IG tribute. As documented by San Antonio Express-News reporter Madalyn Mendoza, Raptors fans are reeling today despite landing a Top 20 player in Kawhi Leonard.
Why would Raptors’ fans be hurting? Because it seems to be clear that Leonard will not embrace Toronto as much as DeRozan did. Days before the trade was announced, it was reported that Leonard didn’t want to go to Toronto, and it was beyond clear that DeRozan didn’t want to be traded from a city he has adopted as home.
So, while Spurs fans are rejoicing that their stoic problem child is gone, Raptors fans are in mourning. And, before he took the tweets down, so was DeRozan.
When the shock of this trade simmers down, DeRozan will realize that will be in the perfect situation to capture that elusive championship ring. Gregg Popovich is a legendary coach that will like he did with Leonard, put him in the right spots to continue being a dominant scorer; and he’ll also have the likes of Tim Duncan and David Robinson mentoring him on how to win.
Yes, going from Toronto to San Antonio will be a culture shock for DeRozan, but in the end, he couldn’t have landed in a better situation to further cement his status as a top-tier player.
That still doesn’t lessen the pain for Raptors fans, which is why Drake’s IG tribute will bring tears to the eyes of Raptor Nation.