DeMar DeRozan wants to see his former team stop the Warriors from extending their championship streak, though he can’t help but feel a little used by the Raptors.
The veteran guard left Toronto for San Antonio last July as part of the trade that saw Kawhi Leonard join the Raptors, but DeRozan called himself the “sacrificial lamb” for the team’s playoff run to the NBA Finals in an interview with Bleacher Report.
“Honestly, I don’t think I even said this — I probably said it to my own inner circle — but if it wasn’t for all the years and groundwork that I did before then, none of them things would’ve been possible,” DeRozan said. “Yes, I fought, I sacrificed, I pushed the limits to where I had to be the sacrificial lamb.
“You just have to sit back and understand, like, you know, you are the reason so many things was even possible.”
DeRozan doesn’t hold a grudge but said he did face some hard feelings in the aftermath of the deal.
“More hurt,” DeRozan continued, “because, you know, being invested from 19 to — I was what, 28? Everything you learned was from there. Everything you gained was from there.
“So for that to be gone like that, when you least expect it, it just throws you off guard. You know, we human at the end of the day, and it definitely hits you.”
“I had to be the sacrificial lamb” @DeMar_DeRozan is still rooting for the Raptors in the Finals but explains why he was so hurt when the trade went down. Season finale of “Take It There” with @TaylorRooks https://t.co/CNL1gyPDtm pic.twitter.com/WKUtzvow29
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 4, 2019
DeRozan, who turns 30 in August, averaged 21.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists in his first season with San Antonio.
The Spurs made their 22nd straight postseason appearance but were eliminated by the Nuggets in the first round.
Meanwhile, the Raptors and Warriors enter Wednesday’s Game 3 matchup tied at 1-1 in the title series.