DeMar DeRozan has handled his first season with the Spurs like a pro. Through 11 games, he's averaging career highs in true shooting percentage, assists—coach Gregg Popovich called him San Antonio's best passer, eliciting eye rolls in some circles—rebounds, and steals per game. He's also pouring in over 25 points per game and the Spurs are off to a 7-4 record. He's got the Spurs again looking like a lock for the playoffs and appears to be at the zenith of his powers despite how disrespectfully he felt towards Toronto after they dealt him for Kawhi Leonard over the summer. In Jonathan Abrams' recent feature for Bleacher Report, we've got even more details about what went down from DeRozan's vantage point on the day of the deal.
It seems DD had just gotten out of seeing The Equalizer 2 and was snagging a post-movie meal at Jack in the Box when he got the call:
DeRozan found out about the trade after getting out of a screening of The Equalizer 2, featuring Denzel Washington. Upon leaving the movie theater in Los Angeles late into the night, he checked his phone. "[I] was wondering why I was getting missed calls," he says.
He was hungry, so he went to get something to eat at a Jack in the Box. In the parking lot, he got the call telling him he had just been traded to San Antonio. "It just caught me off guard," he says. "I sat in the Jack in the Box parking lot for, like, two hours just trying to process it all, like just trying to process the whole thing, and it just tripped me out honestly, just trying to figure it out, but that's how I found out. Midnight, sitting in the Jack in the Box parking lot for about two hours till I went home."
You should really read the whole thing to appreciate how quickly we forget the human side of NBA transactions.
DeRozan had been with Toronto for all nine of his years in the NBA up until that point over the summer, appearing in four all-star games and making two All-NBA teams (third Team in 2017 and the Second Team last year). His departure came the same summer the 2018 Coach of the Year Dwane Casey had been let go, as GM Masai Ujiri attempted to refurbish a squad that had again fallen to LeBron—this time in a sweep—despite a franchise-best regular season where they claimed the top seed in the East with 59 wins.
The Raptors again sit at the top of the East so far this season with the best record in the NBA at 12-1, Kawhi looks to be back in MVP form despite missing all but nine games last season with the Spurs. DeRozan, despite how seamlessly he's fit with the mid-range maestros in San Antonio, still feels burned by the only franchise he knew.
Perhaps the worst thing to come out of this whole ordeal, considering how well DeRozan has looked for the Spurs, is that Jack in the Box might not taste as good anymore.