We break down all the action from DeMar DeRozan’s emotional return to Southern Ontario to face his beloved Toronto Raptors.
The Toronto Raptors‘ first game back from the All-Star break couldn’t have had more anticipation surrounding it. With DeMar DeRozan returning to Toronto for the first time in an opposing jersey, it was bound to be an emotional, tense and slightly surreal evening.
There was never any doubt that Raptors fans were going to give DeRozan a warm reception. When he first came out to warmup and again during player introductions, he was given a standing ovation.
However, the biggest cheer on the night came when the Raptors played a video tribute for arguably the best player in franchise history. This was followed by two minutes of rapturous applause for someone who appeared genuinely moved by all the love.
DeRozan talked about the moment after the game. As reported by the Associated Press via Sports Illustrated, he said:
"“To come back here and get a reception like that is definitely humbling, beyond gratifying. I appreciate it.”"
At the conclusion of a breathless encounter which lived up to the hype, DeRozan shared a warm embrace on the court with his best friend Kyle Lowry. Talking of which, let’s get to our five takeaways from the Raptors’ 120-117 win over the San Antonio Spurs.