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Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan was extremely hurt by Raptors’ willingness to trade him

DeMar DeRozan, Spurs, Raptors

DeMar DeRozan’s transition into his new team, the San Antonio Spurs, was as tough as most would expect after playing for the Toronto Raptors for nine seasons. The new San Antonio Spurs guard has battled depression in the past and the sudden trade could have been a potential twist to set off a spiral.

Asked if he was hurt by the trade and if he has seen it as a motivating force, DeRozan nodded.

“Both, without a doubt,” DeMar DeRozan said, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright. “I definitely was extremely hurt. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t. I always made it clear that Toronto was where I wanted to retire. You never heard a player say that. No star player. Nobody. My whole objective being there was fighting against the stigma that guys didn’t want to play there. As it happened to me, when I gave everything I could on the court and off the court, it definitely hurt. It definitely hurt. To feel like, ‘Damn, I wasn’t nothing? I wasn’t this? All right, cool. Now, I’m going to show you.'”

Athletes have a way to channel their emotions and use them as fuel to their fire, something DeMar DeRozan plans to do now that he’s a bona fide All-Star and the top option on this Spurs roster.

The 6-foot-7 slasher has gotten off to a blistering start this season, putting up career highs across the board with 27.9 points per game on 52.1 percent shooting from the field and 87 percent from the stripe. DeRozan’s floor game has also flourished with the Spurs, averaging 5.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.3 steals (all career highs) after being thrust into a playmaking role due to the absence of three of their guards on the roster.