A five-time All-Star was a guest on the July 28 episode of “The Draymond Green Show” and the superstar had a lot to say about Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.
Chicago Bulls shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who played with James in the Drew League on July 16, spoke about how special it was for the King to show up at the Drew League for the first time since 2011.
“Just to see the kids out there bein’ able to see LeBron James come play in Compton, like you cannot beat that,” DeRozan said. “You know and the atmosphere was one of a kind. It was special. I was honored to be a part of it and, you know, I gotta give credit to Bron. You talkin’ about a guy that’s the GOAT in our league, goin’ into his 20th season, you know, goin’ out there playin’. Like what we grew up watchin’, you know what I mean? It was an amazin’ feelin’. I had a great time just bein’ out there, you know, playin’ with him obviously.”
James, 37, put on a show at the Drew League, finishing with 42 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three assists. James and DeRozan’s team, the MMV Cheaters, defeated the Black Pearl Elite by a final score of 104-102.
DeRozan: Kids Will Never Forget Seeing LeBron in Drew League
DeRozan greatly appreciated James playing in the Drew League because he knows the kids who saw the game will never forget that day.
“You just look around, it was (a) couple moments where I just looked around and you see kids, you know, just the smile and the excitement on their face,” DeRozan said. “Like that’s somethin’ that they gon’ remember forever, you know, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Lakers fans may have been a little upset watching James and DeRozan dominate together in the Drew League since DeRozan was almost a Laker last summer. According to a September 2021 report from Bill Oram, Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, DeRozan took part in meetings at James’ house last offseason and the USC product felt confident about his chances of signing with the Lakers.
However, Los Angeles traded for Russell Westbrook instead of signing DeRozan.
DeRozan Shined for Bulls; Westbrook Struggled with Lakers
DeRozan averaged 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists last season while shooting 50.4% from the field, 35.2% from beyond the arc and 87.7% from the free-throw line. He was second in the NBA in total points and fifth in points per game.
Meanwhile, Westbrook struggled with the Lakers. The 2016-17 MVP was second in the NBA in turnovers last season. Even though his per-game numbers of 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists were solid, Westbrook had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage in the league.
James and Westbrook didn’t sit next to each other or say hello during the Lakers’ Summer League game on July 8 in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center. Los Angeles is trying to trade Westbrook before next season starts. James sat on the south baseline on July 8, while Westbrook positioned himself on the opposite sideline.
Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register reported on July 15 that “several people within the Lakers organization acknowledged it was an awkward and tense moment between its two most high-profile superstars.”