DeMar DeRozan has signed a max deal with the Toronto Raptors. He’s returning to the team that drafted him and where he’s spent his entire career. It’s not a major shock that he resigned. The deal is worth $139 million over 5 years. However, his reasoning behind the move, along with his explanation, is what stands out.
At the end of the season, DeRozan said “… to be second all-time scoring, the most wins as a Raptor, that’s something — you might not see it now, but that’s a legacy. Unless you go there and win seven championships, there’s no overshadowing who played (with the Lakers) for 20 years. That’s that. My whole mindset has always been, what can I do here that’ll separate me from others? And maybe someday, somebody will say, I want to try to pass DeMar. I want to do what DeMar did.”
He seems to have realized something that many others have failed to understand. Being on one team for your entire career, and being identified as a legend within an organization is rare and important. DeMar DeRozan gets the big picture and has decided to stay put.
This mindset seems to differ from many NBA stars, who jump at the first chance they get to partner up with another superstar, or even several. DeRozan reportedly had interest from several teams and could have potentially done the same thing. But by doing what he’s doing, he’s setting himself up to be one of the best Raptors of all time, and for his personal legacy, that could mean even more than a title elsewhere. And by the way… the Raptors finished 2nd in the east last season. They’ll be a title contender next season.
The big question is, will DeRozan’s move and mindset create a trend for other top stars? Will players look at him and think about the big picture and their own legacies? DeRozan drew interest from other top level teams. This is a choice that he made and a commitment to the city of Toronto. And if he keeps up his end of the bargain, he will be a legend to the city of Toronto.