DeRozan: "I had to be the lamb slaughtered in Toronto"

DeMar DeRozan was the bargaining chip last summer for Kawhi Leonard to reach the Raptors. Now, without him, they struggle to make history.

The Raptors are living the sweetest moment in their history after having managed to get into the NBA Finals for the first time. Until a year ago, this fact was a chimera for the Canadian franchise, especially in the last three seasons. It was useless to be among the first three overcoming the barrier of 50 victories and nothing served to sign the best regular season ever in Toronto: crowned the last course, and for the first time, the Eastern Conference with 59 victories. All those stories had the same end in the form of executioner: LeBron James Cavaliers.

The Ohio block was ahead of the Canadians' pretensions and always came out victorious. This fact caused Masai Ujiri, president of the Raptors, to take drastic decisions last summer. The most relevant was that of manding his star DeMar DeRozan and Jacob Poeltl to San Antonio in an exchange that brought Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Canada. With that agreement they were left behind the nine years in which DeRozan defended and wore the only shirt that had been holstered so far. The fans did not expect it and the player much less, but the reality is that these changes have caused the Raptors to break the barrier with which they had always clashed: reach the Finals of the NBA.

The main protagonist of this achievement Kawhi is being, although the team game, the defensive intensity and Nick Nurse's approach are largely to blame. But that equation lacks an ingredient as his ex-star DeRozan acknowledged in an interview with journalist Taylor Roots (Bleacher Report). "I do not think I've ever said that - maybe in my inner circle - but if it were not for all these years and the work I did before the transfer, none of these things could have been possible," said the current Spurs guard. , who says he gave it all for the Canadian team: "Fight, I sacrificed and pushed to the limit where I had to be the sacrificed lamb . Probably the Raptors felt it was time to see what they could do to make the next jump."

The player also acknowledged that he felt more hurt than angry the moment he learned that the Raptors would cross him. "I was appointed to this team at age 19. I was up to 28. Everything you learn is there, everything you earn is there, then all that goes away when you least expect it, it catches you off guard. and after all, we are all human at the end of the day and that affects you "recognized DeRozan, although that fact does not mean he encourages his ex-partners in the fight for the title, highlighting his great friend Kyle Lowry:" I am encouraging my best friend to do it well and that log something we tried all these years, and he has the opportunity to do it ".

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