Even on his journey with the San Antonio Spurs, the lasting impact of DeMar DeRozan lingers in his best friend’s mind.
Well before All-NBA shooting guard DeMar DeRozan became a San Antonio Spur, he was the beloved savior of the Toronto Raptors. Despite drafting one of the most prolific talents in the history of the game in Vince Carter, Toronto struggled to grow to it’s potential as a franchise through the mid-2000’s.
DeRozan came up during the early stages of power forward Chris Bosh‘s career. When he left the north to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami, Bosh handed the keys to the franchise to the young stud out of USC.
During DeRozan’s journey into NBA stardom, Toronto acquired point guard Kyle Lowry after four years in Houston and the rest was history. The bond between Lowry and DeRozan has been well documented over the last five years and continues to be one of the league’s most prolific friendships.
In an interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, Lowry opened up about how he’ll react to DeRozan’s first game back in ‘the Six.’
“Then seeing DeMar is going to be different. It’s going to be weird. And I’m sure they are going to show a video tribute, and I might get emotional. I won’t cry. I won’t do that. We have always talked about it by saying that we’re going to reflect on our careers when we are done and sitting on our porches chilling sipping on some lemonade.”
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Their time on the porch will come, but both of the All Stars have work left to do. It’s been an excellent year for both Lowry and DeRozan despite splitting up for the first time since becoming close friends.
With increased ball handling duties, Lowry is averaging a career-high 11.3 assists thus far in the season. He’s also putting up 17.8 points on a hyper-efficient 49.7 percent shooting from the field and 39.2 percent from behind the arc.
Meanwhile, DeRozan is putting up his own career-high in dimes with 6.8 per game to go with 26.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.
No matter the boundaries, this duo will forever remain linked in NBA history. Besides their friendship, DeRozan and Lowry put Toronto back on the basketball landscape after an extended period of time in basketball limbo.
DeMar will make his return to Toronto on Feb. 22, 2019, but the Spurs will first host the Raptors on Jan. 3.
Of course, that means Kawhi Leonard will return to San Antonio for the first time since he was shipped off to Toronto.