Toronto Raptors: DeMar DeRozan’s All-Star selection speaks volumes

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 05: DeMar DeRozan /

DeMar DeRozan’s second consecutive selection as an NBA All-Star starter proves the Toronto Raptors aren’t being entirely dismissed North of the Border.

As reported by ESPN‘s Ian Begley, the NBA announced the starters for this year’s All-Star Game on Thursday. Of course, of most relevance to the Toronto Raptors and their fans was the selection of DeMar DeRozan.

In the process, this at least gave some indication the Raptors aren’t being entirely ignored around the league, no matter what the perception is North of the Border. Logistics and television ratings aside, the rest of the NBA are well aware of how good Toronto is.

And DeRozan’s second straight selection as a starter is the best proof of this. You can’t even put it down to a popularity contest helped by a huge fan base across Canada, with the voting also conducted by the players and media.

The 28-year-old was ranked second among all Eastern Conference guards, by fans, players and media alike. Pure and simple, his nomination as a starter was earned and — just as importantly — deserved.

Everything about DeRozan’s performances this season, point to a career year. His efficiency is particularly impressive and he is on course for the best three-point percentage in this, his ninth campaign in the NBA.

The Compton, California native is tied for seventh in the league in scoring, at 25.2 points per game. And his ability to get others involved is also at a peak, with him averaging a career-high five assists per contest.

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There was an excellent article written by Sportsnet‘s Michael Grange on Friday morning, about how much being an All-Star means to DeRozan. He used to watch the event every year with his father when he was younger.

The fact this year’s game will be held in Los Angeles holds even more significance. With the four-time All-Star’s dad suffering from a serious kidney ailment, the extra visit home will allow the two men to spend some more invaluable time together.

DeRozan spoke to a group of reporters on Thursday, ahead of the starters being announced for the All-Star Game. As reported by Grange, he said:

"“I want my family to always experience the things they don’t get to see every single day…It’s really like a dream when you think about it. Especially with me being the kind of basketball fan I was growing up and watching every single all-star game…It’s a humbling thing. Everything about it is something I would never believe.”"

While DeRozan remains level-headed and grounded, it doesn’t mean those around him can’t sing his praises. However, as talented as he is, he doesn’t get to this point in his career without his excellent work ethic.

It is this work ethic which has helped the 2009 ninth overall draft pick improve his three-point shooting. This was one area in particular he worked on, during the offseason.

As a result, the player, the team and the fans have all benefited. And in the process, given the rest of the NBA reason to pay attention North of the Border, whether they want to or not.

Next: Raptors get back on track

Do you agree DeRozan’s selection to the All-Star Game alludes to the Toronto Raptors getting some recognition around the NBA? Or do you remain unconvinced? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.