DeMar DeRozan calls out Raptors president Masai Ujiri on his ‘BS’
DeMar DeRozan hasn’t been happy with the Toronto Raptors brass since the trade went down last week, unexpectedly shipping him to the San Antonio Spurs despite reportedly being told there was “nothing imminent” taking place the week before.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in his press conference that he was indeed “loyal,” but he needed to try something different after having tried the same mix several times and coming short of the NBA Finals yet again.
DeRozan told ESPN’s Chris Haynes his true feelings about the matter over a lengthy sit-down interview, clearly still feeling conflicted by what went down over the past week.
Haynes: In that same news conference, he talked about how he gave the team a chance when he took his role. Do you think it was necessary for the organization to make that move and trade you? Why didn’t things work out?
DeRozan: “I mean, when you say “them,” that’s kind of frustrating. Like, who is “them”? You put the blame on just me and Casey? Because obviously we are the only two who had to suffer from the loss that we had in the Cleveland series. But it’s only one team that we lost to in the postseason — and that team went to the [NBA] Finals every single year. With an opportunity approaching itself, my mindset and the rest of my teammates’ mindset was the only guy who was in the way of making that happen leaves. Now we got a great opportunity to do something that we haven’t been able to do. 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 is clearly feeling betrayed and thinking Ujiri used former head coach Dwane Casey and him as scapegoats for last season’s failures while making himself shine after pulling off a trade for Kawhi Leonard.
The Compton native had played his entire nine-year NBA career with the Raptors and was one of the only players to re-sign a long-term deal to remain with the team, doing so two summers ago over a five-year, $139 million contract.