No matter what team DeMar DeRozan plays for, he will always be loved by the fans in Toronto.
The 29-year-old guard left Toronto for the Spurs as part of the trade that saw Kawhi Leonard join the Raptors last summer.
The Raptors’ all-time leader in several categories (including points, field goals, minutes and games played), DeRozan first heard the cheers when he emerged for pre-game warm-ups, when the stadium announcer read his name. He was afforded another ovation when the home side played a video in tribute to their former star.
DeRozan’s stat sheet showed favorable numbers, with 23 points, eight assists, and four rebounds, but it was his late turnover that ultimately cost the Spurs the game as the Raptors ran out to a 120-117 win.
“It came down to a couple of plays. It sucks that the critical play was me turning the ball over,” he said. “But for the most part, I think it was a hell of a game. I knew they were trying to be aggressive, and trying to make a play on the ball, and then foul.
— NBA (@NBA) February 23, 2019
For all the good times
For all you’ve done for this City, for Canada
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 23, 2019
“It’s an honor, it’s been practically my whole career here,” DeRozan added. “To come back and get a reception like that is definitely humbling, beyond gratifying, and I appreciate it. Walking down the floor [after the game] hit me more than anything. It made it exciting, made it fun to go out there, play and compete.
DeRozan will never forget his time as a Raptor. It’s unfortunate he was traded and never got to deliver a championship to the six. We wonder what Drake has to say about this.