Despite "lost confidence", DeRozan's time with the Spurs was valuable

DeMar DeRozan, Gregg Popovich
DeMar DeRozan, Gregg Popovich / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

DeMar DeRozan's time with the San Antonio Spurs wasn't exactly memorable for most NBA fans. During those years, the Spurs weren't headlining the news like the other teams in the NBA. The team wasn't winning as much when DeRozan donned the Silver and Black, and being a small market team, most of the crowd preferred watching the grander teams of the league.

Still, his stint with the Spurs was a learning curve both for the organization and DeRozan. The San Antonio team went from being title contenders into a subpar playoff team when they executed the trade. DeMar DeRozan, meanwhile, saw little to no recognition from the media and the rest of the NBA. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that the Spurs and the five-time All-Star weren't able to have a great three-year run. 

Before getting traded to the Spurs, DeRozan was the main guy with the Toronto Raptors. He spent nine seasons developing his craft and transforming into a star. DeRozan, a raw athlete when he first came into the league, led the Raptors to multiple playoff appearances. Together with his backcourt mate and best friend, Kyle Lowry, they changed the identity of the Toronto Raptors.

DeMar DeRozan reflects on doubting himself while he was with the Spurs

The three-time All-NBA was traded to the Spurs ahead of the 2018-19 season, where he spent three seasons with the team. While in San Antonio, DeRozan slowly developed a more well-rounded offense. But he wasn't able to lead the team to the playoffs. For three seasons, the Spurs only made the postseason once with DeRozan. And being out of the spotlight, the Spurs weren't talked about by the media and the fans.

On a new episode of JJ Redick's Old Man and the Three, DeMar appeared as a guest for a second time. He opened up about how he was uncertain about the kind of player he was with the Spurs. 

"For three years, I doubted myself playing in San Antonio. I questioned myself if I would ever be the player I felt like I was when I was in Toronto. Not to take away nothing from San Antonio, San Antonio and Pop [Gregg Popovich] taught me so much," DeRozan said.

He also went on to say that he lost the confidence he once had when playing for the Raptors. On top of all that, they weren't getting recognition because the team just lost their star player. Being on a small market team and the narrative of DeRozan aging in San Antonio caused him to be insecure about himself.

"I lost a sense of confidence that I carry. And I was fighting and searching for that for so long in San Antonio. ...Once you hear so much of that s**t, you'll have days here and there where you'll believe it," DeRozan said. "...I fell victim to that a lot during my three years in San Antonio."

Looking back at his time with the Spurs, he still managed to prove his critics wrong. Although he logged some of his lowest efficiencies with the team, it made him work on the other aspects of his game.  DeMar DeRozan credits his time with the San Antonio Spurs for turning him into an improved NBA star. I'm sure the organization also cherishes DeRozan's time with the team.

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Now with the Chicago Bulls, the 6-foot-6 swingman seems to have had a resurgence in his career last season. Last season, he had remarkable numbers as a member of the Bulls. He averaged a career-high 27.9 points, 4.9 assists, and 5.2 rebounds. DeRozan also had outstanding efficiency, shooting over 50% from the field and 35% from downtown.