The Toronto Raptors experienced their first period of sustained postseason success as a franchise on the backs of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in the backcourt. Unfortunately, that duo never won a title together, usually because their best efforts in the playoffs would be swatted aside by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
DeRozan frequently ranked among the East’s leaders in scoring during his nine-year career in Toronto, though his four All-Star teams and two All-NBA selections weren’t enough to get his guys past James.
Even with that disappointment in the postseason, it’s hard to find a Raptors fan with one bad thing to say about DeRozan on or off of the court. In the next decade, DeRozan will likely become one of the first players in franchise history to have their number retired, and the movement to immortalize No. 10 just picked up a huge supporter in their corner.
In response to an Instagram account wondering if the Raptors should hang DeRozan’s No. 10 in the rafters, James was so baffled by the question that he thought the account was joking.
As evidenced by Aaron Rose of Sports Illustrated, James claims that the Raptors should “absolutely” retire No. 10 in honor of one of the best players ever to wear a Raptors jersey.
Should the Toronto Raptors retire No. 10 for DeMar DeRozan?
The Raptors have already announced that the No. 7 will be retired for Kyle Lowry. No. 15 will likely get retired in the near future for Vince Carter thanks to his contributions to the franchise and Canadian basketball as a whole.
It remains to be seen what the Raptors will do with Chris Bosh’s No. 4. Considering that first-round pick Scottie Barnes will wear that digit during his rookie season, Toronto likely has no plans to hang that jersey in the rafters in the immediate future.
He didn’t win a title, but DeRozan did just about everything he could to get his number retired. His name is plastered all over the record books, as he owns the franchise’s top mark for games played, shots made, and points. Having stayed in Toronto for nine seasons, DeRozan’s loyalty to this franchise is peerless.
Sure, DeRozan might’ve been traded to San Antonio right before they won a championship, but there is no justification that can be given to the idea he isn’t worthy of a number retirement. He is only one of the three or four best players in franchise history. That has to count for something.
With Lowry’s number about to be retired, and a Carter retirement likely coming in the near future, DeRozan’s No. 10 will likely be up next to his old point guard’s in Scotiabank Arena. LeBron vouching for DeRozan only adds more fuel to this fire.