Toronto Raptors: DeRozan explains role he had on Raptors young players

Toronto Raptors - DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Former Toronto Raptors player, DeMar DeRozan, had lots to say on his time on the Raptors, including acting as a role model to VanVleet, Siakam, and Powell.

DeMar DeRozan, a player Toronto Raptors fans love because of the dedication and heart he had when playing here. DeRozan has done a lot while being in Toronto. He managed to get four All-Star appearances and two All NBA teams, but this isn’t the focal point of the article. DeMar’s impact goes much more beyond just his shiny personal accolades.

DeMar’s presence on his teammates resonates still to this day and he played a big role in helping the “young” guys out — they aren’t as young anymore. DeRozan, who appeared on JJ Redick’s podcast ” The Old Man & the Three” had a lot to say about his time with the Raptors and the effect he had on the younger player.

"“I had such a close bond with all those guys, obviously everybody knows me and Kyle’s relationship. But especially those young guys, we moulded those guys and I never seen young dudes work as hard as they work when it comes to Freddy VanVleet, Norm, Pascal”"

DeRozan also goes on to explain the type of relationship he had with them and what he did to help.

"“I was always constantly talking to them, keeping them positive if they lost a game, if they were going through something. Through the whole process I was talking to them."

It’s great to learn that former unproven guys like Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, and Pascal Siakam had DeRozan around as their veteran leader. DeRozan would even go to their G-League games and support them from the side. DeRozan saw just how hard they worked and made sure to support them through thick and thin.

We always knew he was a positive lockerroom presence but Demar went the extra mile acting as a role model to these guys. VanVleet and Siakam would not only win the championship together in 2019, but they also won the G-League with the Raptors 905 group in 2017.

DeRozan’s impact is still felt even today

VanVleet, Siakam, and Powell were three players out of the seven-man playoff rotation that got significant minutes in this year’s playoffs. DeRozan’s impact is still all over this team, and especially in the style of play of Siakam and Powell who have become great shot-makers who are not afraid to go to the line. Very similar to DeMar.

We will forever love and embrace DeRozan. If not for him, the Toronto Raptors does not get the same level of success it has gotten in the past six years, and they’d never even come close to winning a championship like they did last year.

Next. Toronto Raptors: 5 things we’ll remember the most from Marc Gasol. dark

DeMar DeRozan was the foundation of the Toronto Raptors that helped the team get out of being the laughing stock to the NBA to having his fingerprints felt all over the championship.