DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls hosted Kyle Lowry and the Miami Heat on November 27 at the United Center. It was the first meeting between the Bulls and Heat, two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season. It was also the first time DeRozan and Lowry played each other with their new teams.
DeRozan and Lowry were teammates on the Toronto Raptors for six years. The All-Stars not only had a lot of success together on the basketball court, but they also became brothers for life.
DeMar DeRozan on Kyle Lowry: “That’s just my man”
After the Bulls-Heat game, DeRozan was asked to talk about his relationship with Lowry. The shooting guard initially said he couldn’t put into words what his bond with Lowry means to him. Then he did, eloquently.
“If my mom had another son, it’d be Kyle. If his mom had another son, it’d be me,” DeRozan said. “That’s as simple as I can put it. That’s how close we are. He’s like a big brother to me, and vice versa, I’m like a big brother to him, even though he’s older. That’s just my man.”
The Raptors went 240-156 in the regular season when DeRozan and Lowry played. The Toronto legends are so close that when DeRozan was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard in the summer of 2018, Lowry told ESPN he felt “betrayed.”
The DeRozan-Leonard trade worked out for the Raptors, as the franchise won the 2019 championship thanks to the stellar play of Leonard and Lowry. While DeRozan was happy that his friend won the title, he admitted that it was tough to watch since he wasn’t on the Raptors anymore.
DeMar DeRozan on Raptors winning title: “Was I the problem?”
DeRozan opened up about the Raptors winning the championship without him during an interview with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter on The Old Man and The Three podcast in October 2020. The California native said it wasn’t easy to watch his former team win it all in the first season after he was traded.
“It definitely was tough,” DeRozan said. “I was there nine years, went through everything. Accomplished so much things that people said we’ll never be able to do. I think for me, that’s what drove me my whole career, all the naysayers. My whole time there of us trying to build a winning program. For me to turn into an All-Star starter, see the All-Star game come to Toronto for the first time, make the playoffs, win every type of awards you can think of, and kind of trending in the right direction.
“And for the one person (LeBron James) that we only lost to to leave and us not to have a chance to be able to see what that would have turned into, for me personally, then me leave and then see those guys win, it was definitely tough. I wouldn’t even lie. Especially once we lost in the playoffs and you sit back and see them winning, you kinda feel like, ‘Damn, was I the problem?'”
DeRozan is the Raptors’ all-time leader in games, minutes, field goals, free throws, and points. Meanwhile, Lowry is first in Toronto history in 3-point field goals, assists, steals, and triple-doubles. Both players will likely get their jerseys retired by the organization one day.
Lowry and the Heat defeated DeRozan and the Bulls by a final score of 107-104. Even though they aren’t teammates anymore, Lowry is thrilled to see DeRozan have success in Chicago.
Kyle Lowry on Deebo: “He’s in a great place”
DeRozan is putting up MVP-type numbers in his first season with the Bulls. He’s averaging 25.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 48.3% from the field, and Lowry is pleased to see his brother doing well.
“He’s in a great place,” Lowry said of DeRozan. “He’s leading these young guys how to win and close out games, and he’s showing the world that he’s still really, really talented at basketball. As a friend, I’m always happy to see his success, but I’m always even happier when we beat him.”
The Bulls and Heat play each other again on December 11 in Miami. Look for DeRozan to come out extra aggressive in that contest so he can get some revenge against Lowry.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference