Get DeMar DeRozan a statue in Toronto
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“With all due respect to Vince Carter – and it is impossible to minimize his impact on the franchise, the city, the country and the sport – DeRozan has become as important, as good and vastly more successful, and should now stand atop the pantheon.
No. 10 is No. 1.”
These are the words of Doug Smith that appeared in a January 6, 2018 article in the Toronto Star, titled “Why DeMar DeRozan is already the greatest Raptor ever.” While the debate around ‘greatest’ always seems to take on different meanings, fans at least seemed to agree that DeMar was their Favourite Raptor of All Time according to an April 3, 2017 poll conducted by Sportsnet.
Add this to the many accolades DeMar has amassed through his years while donning a Raptors jersey:
· Most games played as a Raptor (675)
· Most minutes played as a Raptor (22184)
· Most consecutive seasons played as Raptor (9)
· Most points scored as a Raptor (12,800)
· Most field goals made as a Raptor (4,543)
· Most free throws made as a Raptor (3,170)
· Most points scored in a game as a Raptor (52)
· Fifth most rebounds as a Raptor (2,646)
· Third most assists as a Raptor (1,949)
· Second most steals as a Raptor (636)
· Tied for most playoff games as a Raptor (49)
· Most playoff points scored as a Raptor (1055)
· Tied for most All-Star Selections as a Raptor (5)
· Most Conference Player of the Weeks as a Raptor (10)
· Most Conference Player of the Months as a Raptor (3)
· One of three Raptors to make the All-NBA Second Team
· One of three Raptors to make the All-NBA Third Team
· 2014 FIBA World Champion
· 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist
All of these accomplishments were achieved while leading the Toronto Raptors to the most successful era in franchise history. In 2017-18, the Raptors achieved their most wins (59) in a season to win the Eastern Conference for the first time. Prior to DeRozan being a Raptor, the team had never cracked 50 wins before. They've now achieved this feat in each of the last 3 seasons. DeMar also led the team to 5 playoff berths in the last 5 years, taking home 4 Division Championships between 2014 and 2018. Between 1995 and 2014, they had only won their division once.
None of this happens without No. 10.
DeMar has been the face of the franchise for the better part of a decade now. The story goes that Toronto has a hard time attracting star players. “Nobody wants to play in Toronto,” they say. But DeMar did. He always made that clear. Toronto is home.
DeMar is as much Toronto as any of us who call Toronto home. His loyalty and longevity as a Raptor are, quite simply, unmatched.
The fans didn’t want this trade. Give us DeMar, in statue form, if nothing else.
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