Friday, December 9 2022

DeMar DeRozan played angry in 2021.

The Chicago Bulls star told J.J. Redick on The Old Man and The Three podcast this week that he made it his mission to play better against teams that offered him bad deals during the offseason. He wouldn’t name names, but DeRozan said a few teams offered him the veteran’s minimum or the mid-level exception. And that disrespect motivated him.

“It pissed me off,” DeRozan said. “I tried to make it evident, especially when I play certain teams. … It’s easy to tell because I made it a personal vendetta against a handful of teams for sure. It’s obvious. It was a great motivational effort that I took from it.

“Going into the season, the quote I kept reading every single day was a quote from ‘The Godfather.’ Revenge is best served cold. And I stuck with that. That was my whole mentality every time I went out to play.”

Now, we could go back at DeRozan’s game log as Redick suggested (and someone actually did) to determine which teams DeRozan could possibly be referencing here. But regardless, DeRozan still finished this past season with a career-high 27.9 points per game and 35.2 percent three-point shooting percentage and he finished second in total points with 2,118. He played like a man on a mission – not just to beat the teams that lowballed him, but to prove that he was still an elite player.

The two teams everyone knows DeRozan probably circled on his schedule were the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. Not only are they both his hometown teams, but DeRozan told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes in November that “both L.A. teams were definitely a big possibility for me” and went so far as to say he “felt like going to the Lakers was a done deal.” DeRozan added in his conversation with Haynes that “the business side of things just didn’t work out” for the Lakers but later told Redick that everything fell apart when Los Angeles traded for Russell Westbrook.

“I’m looking at my phone like, ‘Damn, that did happen. Well, I guess that’s out the window.'” DeRozan said on Redick’s podcast. “In my mind, that was the only option for me to go to. I was sold on that. Done deal. I didn’t even entertain anything else because I’m letting this situation work itself out. So when I see the trade happen I knew there was no way for me to go to the Lakers at this point. So now it was a scramble mode.”

That eventually led DeRozan to Chicago, a team he said was one of his top-three choices. DeRozan’s only concerns with the Bulls were their point guard situation and if Zach LaVine wanted to stay in Chicago. After LaVine confirmed to DeRozan he would re-sign and the Bulls completed a sign-and-trade for Lonzo Ball, DeRozan landed in Chicago in a sign-and-trade from the San Antonio Spurs.

The Bulls finished the 2021 season with the six-seed in the Eastern Conference but fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.

For what it’s worth, DeRozan scored at least 30 points against almost half of the teams in the NBA. However, he did also score 38 points against the Lakers twice and added a 50- and a 35-point performance against the Clippers. The Bulls also won all four contests against the L.A. teams.

Do with that information as you will.

DeMar DeRozan was on a mission in 2021. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)DeMar DeRozan was on a mission in 2021. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

DeMar DeRozan was on a mission in 2021. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Source: Yahoo Sports

Previous

Bulls' Lonzo Ball expected to return this season, will miss a few months after knee surgery, per report

Next

Bulls expect Lonzo Ball to return in a few months

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

MLB Winter Meetings return with prospect of pandemonium on the horizon

SAN DIEGO — It’s another gorgeous, serene day in San Diego, but stroll inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt, there is turbulence and a lobby full of folks running for cover. It’s the annual MLB Winter Meetings, the first one staged since 2019 with COVID-19 and a labor lockout canceling the past two years. Beginning Monday, teams, executives, managers, […]

Read More

Source says Tim Hardaway Jr. would make sense with Lakers

A new source has come out and said that Tim Hardaway Jr. could make perfect sense for the Los Angeles Lakers. In order for a deal to go down this way, it would have to be some interesting decisions that both sides would have to make. For the salaries to match, the Lakers and Mavericks […]

Read More

FOX Bet Super 6: Win Terry’s $100K prize in Week 14 NFL Sunday Challenge

By Erica Renee DavisSpecial to FOX Sports It’s that time of year, folks. You’ve swiped your card an absurd amount of times for seasonal Starbucks drinks. Your calendar is filled with holiday parties, and you need to buy a Secret Santa present for every single one of them. And you’ve said yes to buying something […]

Read More