Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan talks about hosting All-Star Weekend, his friendship with Kyle Lowry, Kobe, Drake and what’s ahead after the season during NBA All-Star media availability.
Are you in a tall task playing as host this weekend?
DD: Yeah, which is fun. A lot of people rarely get this opportunity, and we just try to take advantage of it and have fun.
How did you and Kyle [Lowry] become such good friends?
DD: I have no clue how we became cool or how we got cool or anything. I think it just came about. It was genuine, and that’s my man. That’s my man.
How excited are you to have the All-Star Game here in Toronto and what it means for you and the city?
DD: For me, it means a lot. But how far I’ve been with this organization, from watching it grow year in and year out, to now having the All-Star Game here, it’s definitely big. I think the whole city is loving it. The country deserves it, and I think the world gets a chance now to really recognize Toronto.
What’s it like for you to walk around with these guys and soak this in?
DD: It’s been great. We’re only a day in. I think as the weekend goes on, it can’t do anything but get better.
What will it be like to step on the floor on Sunday with Kobe in his final All-Star Game?
DD: It’s going to be big for me personally. Going out in something that’s going to be in the history books and being a part of it in your hometown, it’s definitely going to be big.
What’s (Kobe) meant for you in your career?
DD: I grew up watching the Lakers. I grew up watching him his whole career and getting a chance to have a relationship with him and kind of, you know, patterned my game after him so to speak, so definitely speaks volumes.
How different is this year versus two years ago?
DD: Just everything’s different in the sense of I’m more experienced and feel like I’ve been here before. I mean, I felt like I put in the time and deserve it, that’s all.
How special is it going to be for you and Kyle to be going up against the Splash Brothers on the other side?
DD: That’s always fun. To have two guys on the same team in your own city representing the organization is going to be great.
What do you think of Drake getting the key to the city tonight?
DD: That’s big, that’s big. He deserves it. He deserves it. I support him. That’s big.
What is your favorite Drake song?
DD: Started from the Bottom.
Marc Stein from ESPN talking about the interview he had with you, talking about how tough it would be to leave Toronto. Can you just comment about what’s ahead for you at the end of the season?
DD: I mean, you know, you go through adversity with anything in life. It brings you closer to a situation. I just feel like I’m close to the situation. I’ve been through so much here and my mindset has never been anywhere else. So that was the whole reason of that conversation. I don’t think otherwise, until I’m questioned about it or people bring it up.