DeMar DeRozan has immense respect for his previous head coaches, but sometimes tough decisions must be made.
The former star guard for the San Antonio Spurs is having the best season of his career with the Chicago Bulls this season, averaging 28.1 points per game on 51% shooting from the field. In the midst of his stellar season, he stopped by former teammate Serge Ibaka's YouTube series, How Hungry Are You, to discuss several topics while trying some unconventional dishes.
In a segment called "truth or drink", Ibaka makes his guests either answer tough questions or take a sip of something disgusting if they refuse. For DeRozan's episode, he was serving up some cricket tea.
"Dwane Casey or Pop?" asked Ibaka. "Damn, I thought I was in the clear!" responded DeMar. "Oh my God. As far as what?"
"If you had to pick one," said Ibaka.
"Casey made me, so -- without Casey, I would've never met Popovich. So I'm going to go with Casey."
Dwane Casey coached DeMar for seven seasons in Toronto. His tenure included four NBA All-Star appearances before DeRozan was traded in 2018. It makes sense he'd had more of an affinity for the man who guided him throughout most of his 20s, even though Pop had a profound influence on him as well.
“He challenged me beyond my imagination on and off the court to develop, to be a better individual,” DeRozan said of Popovich in a recent interview. “But on the court, he just brought a lot of things out of me that I didn’t know was in there at that point in my career."
"I’ve got to give so much credit to him for that because he took that stance the first day I came to San Antonio. And it did so much for me to be able to be the player I am now.”