Home sport Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan can’t wait to bring his ‘full loop moment’ back to Toronto for a must win

Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan can’t wait to bring his ‘full loop moment’ back to Toronto for a must win

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The Chicago Bulls were in Toronto earlier this season when Billy Donovan took an unexpected shot from DeMar DeRozan shooting people in Canada.

The coach couldn’t believe the moment.

“I was on the treadmill,” Donovan said. And I can only tell that this guy was looking at me. He kept looking at me and staring at me. I finally got off the treadmill and he was waiting for me.

He gave himself. And he said, “Coach, is there a way to introduce me to DeMar DeRozan? This guy meant a lot, just the things he came out of and talked about his entire career. And he helped me a lot.”

Donovan handed the letter. DeRozan graciously accepted the request and met the man in the hotel lobby.

“It was great to see how you inspire people,” DeRozan said. “You don’t even know half the time how much you can mean to them.”

DeRozan is and always will be a beloved figure across Canada. He spent his first nine seasons with the Raptors. He boasts of Toronto as the place he became a man and the Raptors as the organization that threw its arms around a tough but tough scorer before watching him blossom into a four-time All-Star with the Raptors and franchise leader.

Raptors fans show their appreciation for DeMar DeRozan. (David E. Klotho/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

“It was my home,” DeRozan said. “The way they held me, everything. Even if I tried, I can’t say it’s wrong in Canada — other than double taxation.”

DeRozan called his win or comeback on Wednesday night a “total moment.” Going around looking to finish the season in Toronto would seem strange. But DeRozan is also not ready for the end of his season. And if anyone understands the intensity of the playoff atmosphere at Scotiabank Arena, it’s the man who led the Raptors to nine playoff appearances, including the Eastern Conference Finals.

“I’m sure I’ll tell a joke here and there, how crazy that would be,” DeRozan said when asked if he would dress up his teammates. “It’s going to look like a Play-In Eastern Conference Finals game. So it’s definitely going to be crazy. Driving in the ring, getting into the ring, you’ll definitely feel that. That’s the beauty of this place, these fans. And any competitor wants to be a part of it.”

Toronto has defended DeRozan like no other team this season. Starting with OG Anunoby, the Raptors have several players with a long, athletic wing that can disrupt DeRozan’s timing. But by sending two extra defensemen to him, the Raptors forced DeRozan to engage a setter. He averaged just 14 points in the three-game series, his lowest production against any team.

“He’s Nick Nurse,” DeRozan said of the Raptors coach’s plans. I’ll take care. I know how to take care of her now. But playing against Nick and playing against these guys, they’re trying to do everything they can to make sure I don’t beat them.

“I am aware of that, of course. For my own good, I certainly have my own theory about this and how I will deal with it.”

There is another possible reality for DeRozan. While a portion of Raptors fans may be more interested in losing and keeping their first-round pick, fanatics can turn on DeRozan. How will he handle walking out of Scotiabank Arena with a life-saving victory, but perhaps leaving Toronto as a villain?

No problem.

“I will never be a Toronto villain,” he said.

(DeMar DeRozan top photo: Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)

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