DeMar DeRozan Humbled by Standing Ovations from Raptors Fans in Toronto Return

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 22: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs thanks fans during a game against the Toronto Raptors on February 22, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Toronto Raptors fans made sure DeMar DeRozan knew how appreciative they were of everything he did for the franchise during his nine seasons with it.

DeRozan received two standing ovations Friday from the crowd inside Scotiabank Arena—one during pregame introductions and one after he scored the San Antonio Spurs' first points—in his first game back in Toronto since he was traded in July.

"It's an honorit's been practically my whole career here," DeRozan said, via ESPN.com's Michael C. Wright. "To come back and get a reception like that is definitely humbling, beyond gratifying, and I appreciate it. Walking down the floor [after the game] hit me more than anything."

DeRozan's return was in stark contrast to the constant rain of boos that greeted Kawhi Leonard whenever he touched the ball in his return to San Antonio when these teams met Jan. 3.

Even though the Raptors prevailed 120-117 on Friday, DeRozan looked at home in his old surroundings. The four-time All-Star scored a team-high 23 points and led all players with eight assists.

DeRozan became a Raptors icon after he was drafted ninth overall by the team in 2009. He is the franchise's all-time leader in games played (675), field goals (4,716) and points (13,296).

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