DeMar DeRozan’s world looks great from afar.
He’s arguably the best player on the Eastern Conference’s best team. His contract his massive. His steady improvement is finally getting widespread attention, as he and the Raptors transition to a more dynamic offensive style.
Then – the day before his fourth All-Star game, played in Los Angeles, near his native Compton – DeRozan tweeted:
DeRozan, via Doug Smith of the Toronto Star:
“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,” the 28-year-old Raptors all-star 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.”
“I always have various nights,” he said in a wide-ranging and wildly open glimpse into his private life. “I’ve always been like that since I was young, but I think that’s where my demeanour comes from.
“I’m so quiet, if you don’t know me. I stay standoffish in a sense, in my own personal space, to be able to cope with whatever it is you’ve got to cope with.”
“I had friends that I thought was perfectly fine, next thing you know they’re a drug addict and can’t remember yesterday . . . I never had a drink in my life because I grew up seeing so many people drinking their life away to suppress the (troubles) they were going through, you know what I mean?”
I appreciate DeRozan’s candor. It takes courage to open up about things like this.
Hopefully, his comments serve as a message to everyone:
To those going through something similar, you’re not alone. Many have worked and are working through these issues.
To those not going through something similar, remember others are. No matter how people look from afar, we can’t know what’s in their mind, and empathy should be the initial reaction.