Time is supposed to heal all wounds, but DeMar DeRozan apparently will need a lot more of it.
The new San Antonio Spurs guard was highly critical of the Toronto Raptors and their general manager, Masai Ujiri, in a recent interview with ESPN’s Chris Haynes, ripping the organization for its decision to trade him in a July 18 blockbuster involving Kawhi Leonard.
DeRozan appears particularly upset with Ujiri, who DeRozan claims gave him the impression he wouldn’t be traded this summer.
“I felt like I wasn’t treated — with what I sacrificed for nine years — with the respect that I thought I deserved,” DeRozan told Haynes. “By just giving me the say-so of letting me know something’s going on, or there’s a chance (I’d be traded). 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. That’s all I ask.”
Ujiri did apologize during a recent conference for poor communication with DeRozan. But the 28-year-old also didn’t appreciate the Raptors GM basically saying the trade needed to be done in light of Toronto’s postseason failures, the latest coming to the Cleveland Cavaliers (again) in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
“You put the blame on just me and (former Raptors head coach Dwane) Casey?” DeRozan added. “Because obviously, we are the only two who had to suffer from the loss that we had in the Cleveland series.
” … 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 and 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.”
DeRozan enters a pretty good situation in San Antonio, but when asked about his initial thoughts about joining the Spurs, he replied, “I’m still in shock.”
The four-time All-Star can’t reverse the past, though, so he’ll have to accept his new reality sometime soon.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images