The San Antonio Spurs are getting ready for the upcoming NBA season and DeMar DeRozan is ready to improve upon the previous campaign. During the recent Spurs media day, the guard/forward sat down to converse with reporters about a number of topics. They ranged from his return during free agency to the return of big man LaMarcus Aldridge and the development of the Spurs’ younger players.
DeMar DeRozan on Why he Returned to Spurs
San Antonio ended their 2019-20 season just a few months ago, eliminated from NBA playoff contention at the league’s bubble site in mid-August. Now they’re set to return in December, with the Spurs’ preseason schedule beginning on December 12. They’ll have their key roster members back including star guard DeMar DeRozan, who could’ve decided to go elsewhere.
When asked about his thought process in making the return instead of choosing free agency, he said he has “unfinished business.”
“For me just being a competitor that I am you know I wasn’t satisfied the way we ended the season. You know it’s always easy to kind of cop-out and find a situation that could heighten your chances to kind of be more successful but for me I always, I never ran from a challenge and I feel there was so much left on the table for us to do, especially the way we played in the bubble,” DeMar said.
The Spurs ended up going 5-3 in their eight games during the NBA restart at the bubble site in Florida. They were amongst teams contending for a final playoff spot in the Western Conference. However, they failed to get the No. 9 seed for a play-in game to try to take No. 8 and make the playoffs. It marked the Spur’s first absence from the postseason in 22 years, bringing a sting with a streak’s end.
DeMar Comments on LaMarcus Aldridge Returning to Play
Big man LaMarcus Aldridge will return to play for the Spurs after he had season-ending shoulder surgery and couldn’t participate in the bubble. That likely hurt the Spurs’ chances at snagging a playoff spot. DeMar is happy to see him back and feels he’ll work well with their new style.
He gave his thoughts on LaMarcus’ return and his fit in the Spurs’ newer uptempo system.
“LaMarcus is a pure professional. He understands what he needs to do, how he need to do it, and his preparation. Him getting back to 100 percent health, you know it was a rough year for him at the end of the year dealing with injuries. Then obviously not having him in the bubble sucked but I got the utmost confidence in knowing that LA is definitely going to fit in and do whatever it takes for us to be successful,” DeMar commented.
On Working with Spurs’ Younger Players and Their Development
DeMar will continue using his veteran experience in the league to help the Spurs’ younger players develop and hopefully flourish. When asked his thoughts about continuing to work with Lonnie Walker IV, Dejounte Murray, and Keldon Johnson, DeMar seems excited about it.
“The raw talent, I wish I had a great analogy…Those guys just go out there and play with nothing but heart, emotions, and just my confidence comes from once they understand and get a better feeling of their game, they’re going to be that much better. Just seeing them go out there and do things off raw talent. You know, it’s exciting to see, exciting to be a part of, and exciting to help” DeMar said.
The San Antonio Spurs return to the court for their first regular-season game Wednesday, December 23, against the Memphis Grizzlies.