Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

DeMar DeRozan Said He Was the 'Sacrificial Lamb' for the Toronto Raptors' Success


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If you had any question about how DeMar DeRozan is taking the Toronto Raptors' first-ever NBA Finals appearance, wonder no longer.

The Spur was dramatically traded from his longtime team as part of the deal that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Great White North. During DeRozan's nine-season tenure, he was the star of the Raptors and helped build the franchise into what it is today.

Obviously, Toronto's star is now Leonard, who led the team into its first Finals appearance.

DeRozan has been vocal in the past about feeling hurt by the Raptors franchise, but in a recent interview with Bleacher Reports' Taylor Rooks, the player struck a different tone. He said he's supportive of his former teammates and happy to see them doing well.

"My best friend is Kyle [Lowry], so I'm rooting for my best friend to do well and accomplish something we tried to do all those years, and he has the opportunity to do it," DeRozan said.

DeRozan also touched on how shocked he was to learn the franchise — one he had spent his entire career with until that point — had traded him.

"If it wasn't for all the years and groundwork that I did before then, none of those things would have been possible," he said. "I fought, I sacrificed, I pushed the limits to where I had to be the sacrificial lamb."

Although the trade initially hurt him, he said he realized the Raptors' organization felt the move was necessary for the team to reach the success it has.

Rooks was also sure to ask DeRozan about his new Spurs family and big boss Gregg Popovich.

"Pop is cool, he's like a Don Corleone," he said. "He makes you look at him not like the basketball coach, but like a great individual."

You can watch the full interview below.
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