DeMar DeRozan Featured in Canada’s Sportsnet Magazine
DeMar DeRozan is featured in the latest issue of Canada’s Sportsnet Magazine. You can pick up a copy of the issue in Canada today or check out the article via pdf by clicking on the photo below.
There are only two pictures on the walls of the players’ lounge across from the Raptors locker room.
One is a framed collage of Vince Carter in the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. On the opposite wall, between a mounted flat-screen TV and bookshelves lined with basketball autobiographies and motivational reading, is a photo of DeMar DeRozan in the 2010 contest.
DeRozan sees this every day, one of many not-so-subtle reminders of what the organization expects from him. That he will be, like Carter, the face of the franchise and the guy who can take the Raptors deep into the post-season. At only 23 and in his fourth NBA season, he might be that guy already.
Four storeys up, the sound of squeaking sneakers on the Air Canada Centre’s practice court is drowned out by Dr. Dre’s anthem “The Next Episode” blaring through the loudspeakers. It’s 6 p.m. on a Wednesday in late September, and DeRozan is back on the court for the second time today. The Compton, Calif., native is the lone Raptor in the building, earning his reputation as the franchise’s pre-eminent gym rat. His fiancée, Kiara, looks on from the sidelines as DeRozan goes through a series of moves — baseline jump shots, catch-and-shoot scenarios on the wing, turnaround jumpers from the high post. Like him, she doesn’t react to a made shot but grimaces with each miss. With each heave — he’ll take a couple of hundred before this hour-long session is over — sweat pours through the shirt on his six-foot-seven, 220-lb. frame, which is noticeably bigger after a summer spent in the weight room. If there’s any doubt as to whether DeRozan knows that this season is the most important of his career — and that his performance will go a long way to determining whether or not the Raptors can put together a winning campaign for the first time since he was drafted in 2009 — it’s being put to rest here. “Take a seat,” the late Nate Dogg urges through the speakers. “Hope you’re ready for the next episode.”