DeMar DeRozan has been trying to silence his doubters since entering the NBA as the No. 9 overall pick in 2009, and the Raptors shooting guard readily admits to being motivated by any negativity he comes across, Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca writes. “Man, there’s been so much stuff, honestly,” DeRozan told Lewenberg. “I could write a book [with] how much stuff was said. ‘He’ll just be an average player, he’ll never…’. There’s so many things you could start [with]. It’s crazy. But you can’t look at it and get sad or cry about it, you’ve got to use that as motivation. At the end of the day, the same people who probably said this, or whatever it was, you feel better knowing they’re eating their words. And that’s what it’s all about. You can’t get mad. I understand. I take all that frustration out when I’m working out in the summer, try to come back and prove everybody wrong.” DeRozan was recently added to the Eastern Conference’s 2016 NBA All-Star squad as a reserve.
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- In his latest mailbag, Philadelphia magazine’s Derek Bodner opines that Sixers draft-and-stash prospect Dario Saric should make an immediate impact on the court if he indeed joins the NBA next season. Bodner pegs Saric’s role as the team’s sixth man and his creativity on offense is something the roster sorely needs. Saric has indicated that he intends to join Philadelphia for the 2016/17 campaign.
- Former Nets point guard Deron Williams is surprised at how quickly things turned south for the franchise after his departure, Andy Vasquez of The Record relays. “I figured they’d be a lot better,” Williams said regarding the Nets. “But I know they’ve struggled with some injuries and things like that that have definitely hurt them, and the coaching change and [former GM] Billy [King] getting let go, so there’s a lot of things going on over there right now.”
- Williams also noted that he didn’t expect the Nets would fire coach Lionel Hollins when they did, Vasquez adds. “I was a little surprised,” Williams said, “because Lionel’s only been there a year and a half. I thought he’d get a little bit more of a chance, but that’s the nature of this business. You see how things are going around the league, not just there. You look at — David Blatt got fired and he was supposed to be coaching the All-Star game, so it’s just the nature of this business.”