Bulls' DeMar DeRozan: 'I Don't Think I Can Truly Be Happy Until I Retire'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 28, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 16: A behind the scenes photo of a DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls workout on August 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan is no stranger to discussing his mental health and some of the challenges he faces as a professional basketball player.

During a discussion with JJ Redick for The Old Man & The Three podcast, he said he may not experience true happiness until he walks away from the NBA.

TheOldMan&TheThree @OldManAndThree

"There is so much internal pressure to want to be great every single day.... You carry that so much to where you can't really fully be happy until you walk away from it." <br><br>Episode 127 with <a href="https://twitter.com/DeMar_DeRozan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DeMar_DeRozan</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/jj_redick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jj_redick</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/talter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@talter</a> drops tomorrow. <a href="https://t.co/fJlzVjcSIm">pic.twitter.com/fJlzVjcSIm</a>

"I don't think I could truly be happy until I retire," he said. "And I say that because of what you just said. Because there's so much internal pressure to want to be great every single day. Every single day of like, 'I got to go back to the gym. I didn't do enough. I didn't this. I didn't this. Should I take the day off? No, no, no. I'mma just push through it.

"You carry that so much to where you can't really fully be happy until you walk away from it."

This is far from the first time DeRozan has discussed mental health.

In 2018, he tweeted, "This depression get the best of me," a lyric from the Kevin Gates song "Tomorrow," and prompted a wide-ranging interview with Doug Smith of the Toronto Star in which he delved further into his mindset.

"It's one of them things that no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we're all human at the end of the day," he said. "We all got feelings … all of that. Sometimes … it gets the best of you, where times everything in the whole world's on top of you."

He told Smith that he strives to treat everyone with the same level of respect regardless of their position in life or occupation because "we're all human at the end of the day."

DeRozan also discussed his mental health earlier this year on the Draymond Green Show with the Golden State Warriors star (h/t Ryan Taylor of NBC Sports Chicago) and talked about spending days in bed during free agency and dealing with depression after his father died in 2021.

The NBA has taken strides with regard to mental health in recent years with players such as DeRozan, Kevin Love and others discussing some of their struggles.

The NBA Mind Health program says its "mission is to engage, educate, and serve the NBA community and to position mental health as an essential element of wellness & excellence—both on and off the court."

DeRozan's latest comments come as he prepares to start his second season with the Bulls.

Playing in a major market like Chicago for an organization that has a history of success that includes six championships and one of the most iconic eras in sports when Michael Jordan was leading the way comes with its own set of pressures, especially for the team's go-to player on the floor.

He thrived last season in that situation from a basketball standpoint, making the fifth All-Star Game of his career while averaging a career-best 27.9 points per game.