DeMar DeRozan Sends Strong Message to Bulls Fans: ‘I Disrespected the Aura’

DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls.

Getty DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls.

When the Chicago Bulls signed DeMar DeRozan last offseason, most people were stunned. Chicago inked him to a three-year, $82 million deal, which was a lot more than he was expected to earn. However, throughout the course of this past season, the 32-year-old proved all of his doubters wrong.

DeRozan slowly turned himself into one of the most clutch players in the league, nailing game-winner after game-winner. Not only did he break Wilt Chamberlain’s record last year, but he became the Bulls’ modern-day Michael Jordan.

He may not have the winning resume of Jordan, but the clutch gene was on full display all season long. It wasn’t always like that, though. On the July 28 edition of The Draymond Green Show, DeRozan spoke about the exact moment his mindset switched and his killer instincts fully came out.

“The moment where I really realized like, you gotta bring it every single night in that arena, and I’ve never spoken this on nothing [in the] media,” DeRozan revealed. “I think we was four or five games into the season, we were playing the [New York] Knicks, and I took the game-winner. And I air-balled. I just felt the whole vibe of everything like, ‘What the f***?’ Like, ‘What was that?’ Like, you know what I mean. I felt like I disrespected the aura of what these fans is used to seeing. From, obviously, MJ hitting game-winners and, you know, you live for those moments, and to be in that moment for the first time, my fourth, fifth season in a game, and I take that shot. It was like, I told myself I would never be in that situation again.”

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DeRozan looked back at all of his big-time moments at United Center and said that it was almost as if he inherited the ghost of Jordan.

‘I’m Trying to Inherit the Ghost of Michael’

As the veteran forward continued his explanation, he told Green that he felt as if he was inheriting the ghost of Jordan whenever he got into those moments. He said that the Bulls’ walkout music hyped him up every game and helped him go out there and be the best version of himself.

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“So you look back at all the moments that I had in that arena, it was more so like, yo, this is the ghost of like, I’m trying to inherit the ghost of Michael shooting his fadeaway with the clock running down,” DeRozan explained. “I carried that to heart after that moment because you felt it from the fans, you felt it on social media, when it was like, ‘yeah, you taking that.’ You know what I mean? And you hear this music when you come out, it’s the same, you know what I mean? It’s the same thing. You gotta live up to it.”

But despite finding a home in Chicago, the offseason took a major toll on DeRozan. He talked to Green about how lost he felt when he didn’t get any offers.

DeRozan: ‘It Put Me in a Dark Place’

As last year’s offseason dragged on and DeRozan went longer and longer without a contract, the noise began to get to him. He spoke to Green about how the critics and the constant questions sent him into a dark place.

“It didn’t go as planned. That kind of brought so much doubt in it for me and put me in a dark place because I started to question like, ‘Alright, where am I going now? What player am I going to be?’” DeRozan told Green. “So many of these questions started to creep in and a lot of people didn’t realize, big names kind of always sign in the first day or two. I think I went a couple days into free agency with still such a question mark. Was I going to go somewhere with a one-year deal? Was I going to take the minimum?”

Obviously, DeRozan was able to get past that and put on a nightly show for Chicago, but his journey to being their modern-day Jordan wasn’t easy.

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