SAN ANTONIO – With all the hype surrounding the return of Kawhi Leonard to San Antonio for the first time since he and Danny Green were traded to Toronto, what has been somewhat lost in the hysteria is DeMar DeRozan and what it will be like for him to face his old team from a city where he thought he would retire.
During the summer, that all changed when he and his teammate Jacob Poeltl were traded to San Antonio.
He is facing his old team for the first time but for DeRozan, it may not be as emotional taking on Toronto this time in San Antonio as it will be when he heads back to Canada.
"That's why I probably don't feel it as much now, probably Toronto for sure. That's all I knew. You see so many familiar faces," said DeRozan.
So far, it is not far from an even swap. DeRozan is averaging 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Leonard is averaging 27 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
DeMar was asked about a scenario in which it comes down to one possession going one-on-one against Leonard, with a chance to hit a game winner.
"Great movie, ain't it?" DeRozan said.
As great as that opportunity might be, DeRozan has been able to keep all the trade talk in perspective, knowing it is just a business and he just happened to be part of that business deal.
He said he feels nothing personal when it comes to Leonard.
"I have no ill will towards him, nothing at all," DeRozan said.
Thanks to the warm welcome he received in San Antonio, DeRozan's transition has been made a lot easier.
"You don't get this opportunity to be loved in one place and then come somewhere else, and be loved just as much, accepted so quick," DeRozan said.
DeRozan would love to get a win against his old team.