Though he was initially upset about being traded from the Toronto Raptors, new Spur DeMar DeRozan said it's "a blessing" to be part of the San Antonio team.
DeRozan played a key role in the Spurs trading Kawhi Leonard to Toronto, and for a reason. During his nine seasons as a Raptor, he helped improve the team and was an All-Star and the team's fighting tool.
So DeRozan took it personally when the Raptors cut him loose during the offseason.
"He was obviously not a happy camper," Popovich told the San Antonio Express-News
. "He felt like he hadn't been told the whole truth about some things."
On social media, he subtweeted Toronto's general manager Masai Ujiri in the days after the trade was finalized.
DeRozan said those salty feelings have washed away
First, it was the mural that artist Nik Soupé did of the 29-year-old star at Rudy's Seafood Restaurant on the South Side. The mural was complete before DeRozan even made the move to San Antonio.
"It gives you that extra hunger to want to go out there and do something for the fans and make them feel better than I felt in that moment," DeRozan said.
Things got better once DeRozan came on board as the opportunity to play with LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay became a reality. The legacy of the Spurs helped, too.
"You definitely want to be around a culture of this magnitude, play with a coach of this status, one of the greatest coaches of all time," DeRozan said. "To be here is definitely a blessing."
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