Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan has won the 2017-18 PBWA Magic Johnson Award.
The award honors the player who best combines excellence on the court with cooperation and dignity in dealing with the media and the public and is voted on by members of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. DeRozan was also nominated last year and joins Chris Bosh (2009-10) as Raptors to win the award.
“I’m grateful to the reporters and broadcasters who cover our league, who love our game and who communicate with our fans every day. So thank you to the PBWA for this award,” DeRozan said in a release. “It’s very special for an L.A. guy to receive an honour named for Magic.”
DeRozan’s on-court accomplishments this year almost don’t need re-hashing since they resulted in him making his fourth All-Star Game and his second All-NBA team, joining Chris Bosh and Vince Carter as the only Raptors to ever achieve Second-Team status. For all the immense strides DeRozan took as a player, it’s off the court where his impact may be felt in the most meaningful way this year. Not only has DeRozan become a terrific quote and a master of analogy, this year saw him open up about his battles with depression. Him speaking up opened the door for Kevin Love, Kelly Oubre, and others to follow, and DeRozan even appeared in a league PSA about mental health that aired during the playoffs.
Our congratulations (and, as media, thanks) go out to DeRozan on yet another well-deserved award.