DeRozan proud of how far Anunoby has come: 'He started out stiff as a cardboard box'

Steven Psihogios
·2-min read

San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan may not see OG Anunoby everyday like he did when the two were teammates during Anunoby’s rookie season in 2017-18, but the former Raptor has definitely noticed how far the 2017 first-round pick has come along in his development.

After Toronto’s 117-112 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday, a game where Anunoby scored a team-high 22 points while shooting four-of-seven from deep, DeRozan commented on the growth of the fourth-year pro.

“He started out stiff as a cardboard box,” DeRozan said. “Now to see how he handles the ball, how he drives the ball, his post game. I saw him a lot this summer, we worked out a lot, and to see his skill set grow from where I first saw it speaks volumes of how much he loves and appreciates the game.”

DeMar DeRozan catches up with his friends ahead of Wednesday's Raptors-Spurs game. (Photo by Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan catches up with his friends ahead of Wednesday's Raptors-Spurs game. (Photo by Scott Audette/NBAE via Getty Images)

Raptors fans have been seeing the exact same things throughout the 2020-21 campaign, as Anunoby currently owns career-bests in points (14.8), rebounds (5.7), assists (2.0), steals (1.6), three-point percentage (.393) and free-throw percentage (.765).

“He's come a long way,” DeRozan added. “He deserves everything that comes his way. I hope he keeps growing. It's fun to see that, it's fun to compete against that, and I'm glad I was a part of his career early on.”

Playing against his former team for the first time since Dec. 26, DeRozan got the opportunity to catch up with his friends before the game, although that's nothing out of the ordinary for Toronto's all-time leading scorer. 

"I try to stay in touch with all those guys as much as I can. For me, our relationship extends much bigger than basketball," he said. "A lot of the time it don't even be about basketball, it's just life in general."

Even though it’s been three years since DeRozan played for Toronto, it’s comments like these that keep him close to the heart of all Raptors fans.

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