DeMar DeRozan has become the Toronto Raptors’ all-time leading scorer.
With his 15th point against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, DeRozan passed Chris Bosh (10,275) for first on the franchise’ scoring list.
DeMar DeRozan passes Chris Bosh as the Raptors’ all time leading scorer with this bucket pic.twitter.com/OFhtOJii8f
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) December 29, 2016
That he set the record it with a contested running floater from just inside the free-throw line after a screen from Kyle Lowry feels fitting, given how he’s gotten to this point. That it came during a ridiculous first-half comeback in which the Raptors trimmed a 25-point deficit to five also feels fitting, given the heights to which DeRozan has helped lead the Raptors to, and from whence he – and they – came.
DeRozan’s slow growth into one of the league’s elite has been a marvel to watch, with the former No. 9 pick coming back each year better than the last. He improved as ball-handler, then a post-up threat, then a shooter, then a playmaker, every season adding some new wrinkle to his arsenal, a Kobe-esque piece of nifty footwork, a foul-drawing move borrowed from Harden, or a jab-step lent by Dirk. The product here, in his eighth season with the team – the first star to opt to re-up for a third contract with the team, it’s worth noting and appreciating – is one of the league’s most lethal scorers on the league’s most lethal offense so far.
With 10,290 points (he finished the game with 29), DeRozan is now in sole possession of the lead. Just a few weeks back, he also passed Morris Peterson for the most games in franchise history (he’s at 552), and he’ll pass Bosh in the lead for minutes played sometime this week (he’s 62 minutes back). In other words, he’s not being subtle with his assault on the team’s recordbook, and his claim as the “Best Raptor Ever” gets more legitimate by the day. (That argument is going to be incredibly interesting by season’s end, with Vince Carter trying to fend off Bosh, DeRozan, and Lowry, particularly if the Raptors reach the heights they hope to in the postseason.)
That he’s also been incredibly durable, a massive part of a terrific organizational culture, a strong leader, a two-time All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, a dunk contest participant, a life-ender with in-game dunks, a hilarious quote off the court, a best friend to the team’s other star, and a bona fide face of the franchise, well, it all adds up to make DeRozan one of the most eminently likeable athletes Toronto sports have ever gotten to call their own. Passing Bosh in the recordbook doesn’t make that any more or less true, but it’s an impetus for reflection and appreciation, and there’s never really a bad time to be thankful for what you have (or who you get to watch) in your life.
So shout out to DeMar DeRozan, one of the best, most committed, and most enjoyable to ever wear the Raptors uniform.
(DeRozan also called it would be a contested mid-range shot that got him the record, by the way, though he did say it would be a fadeaway, not a floater.)
Video of DeMar DeRozan saying how he’d like to set the Raptors franchise points record, before Kyle Lowry facetimes him. pic.twitter.com/BUy7nS1lpa
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) December 29, 2016