DeRozan on ESPN (VIDEO): Wasn’t treated with ‘respect that I felt I deserved’

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DeMar DeRozan was interviewed by ESPN’s Chris Haynes on Tuesday night. What follows are some notes from the sit-down.

On the last week:

“It was a blur, it was a dream. Still kinda feel like a dream right now. It’s been tough. Had this rollercoaster, up and down, just trying to get acclimated to changing teams.”

On how he was treated on his way out:

“I felt like I wasn’t treated – with what I sacrificed for nine years, you know – with the respect that I felt I deserved. By just giving me the say-so of letting me know something’s going on, or that there’s a chance. That’s all I wanted. I’m not saying you don’t have to trade me, just let me know something’s going on. Because I sacrificed everything. Just let me know, you know what I mean? That’s all I ask. Everybody know I’m the most low-maintenance person in the world. Just let me know so that I can prepare myself for whatever my next chapter is. I didn’t get that.”

“I asked ‘Was I going to be traded? Was there anything going on, if it was a chance I’d be traded?’ And on multiple occasions it was ‘No, it was nothing.'”

On the conversation in Vegas about the future:

“It seemed like I was in that discussion of moving forward with the team. My whole approach was like every single summer: Preparing, going out there, supporting the young guys in Summer League, figuring out ways I can be better and make my team better. That was the feeling and the gist of the conversations we had with moving forward, having an opportunity to do something special all over again. So that was my mindset and everybody around me’s mindset.

On Masai Ujiri’s comments that he gave the Raptors’ core plenty of chances:

“I mean, when you say ‘them,’ that’s kind of frustrating. Like who is ‘them?’ You put the blame on just me and (Dwane) Casey? Because obviously we are the only two who had to suffer from the loss that we had in the Cleveland series. But it’s only one team that we lost to in the postseason, and that team went to the Finals every single year. With an opportunity approaching itself, my mindset and the rest of my teammates’ mindset was the only guy who was in the way of making that happen leaves. Now we’ve got a great opportunity to do something that we haven’t been able to do. At the end of the day, I gave everything I had to that team, and it showed. It showed in the progress we made as a team, in me as an individual. So when you put that out there saying ‘gave them chances’ and ‘I have to do something,’ it’s B.S. to me.”

On his commitment to the Raptors over time, including in free agency in 2016:

“Day One when I was drafted to the Toronto Raptors, they had this stigma on them: Every guy leaves, nobody wants to be here, superstars, nobody wants to play in Canada. From Day One my whole mindset and approach to the game, being in Toronto, was I wanted to change that whole narrative to that whole organization. That’s why I work my butt off like I did. That’s why I push, that why I repped so hard to get that stigma off. That was another example in my career where I could prove that by not having to meet with nobody else. Get this done within the first 30 minutes of free agency and keep moving. That was always my mindset and approach and you could tell by the connection I have with the fans. I never thought about elsewhere, I never mentioned elsewhere. I love that place. It’s literally my second home.”

“I was so mentally in this being my home. I took pride in the community. I took pride in everything when it came to Canada. Not even just Toronto, everything that came with Canada, wearing that Toronto Raptors jersey.”

On going to San Antonio:

“I’m still in shock. The second person I talked to that night, that I’m close friends with, is Rudy Gay. I remember I called him like, ‘Man, dude just traded me, like, what?’ Rudy’s like ‘Man, to who?’ I said ‘To y’all.’ He started laughing. He said ‘Look, I don’t mean to laugh, but I got my boy back, man. You gonna be alright, man. Don’t worry about it.’ I was like ‘Man, I shouldn’t have even called you.’ But it was cool just to be able to call my man, somebody that’s close in my life that’s close on the Spurs, too. He made it easy.”

On what the Spurs are getting:

“Man, a guy that’s been proven to prove himself time and time again. This time around, having the biggest chip on his shoulder, ever, that I’ve had in my career, when I carry that over.”

“This time around, I think it’s going to be hell for a lot of people. No question.”

Here’s the full video:


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