Loyalty in Sports: DeRozan and Leonard

On of the main headline in the NBA offseason was a blockbuster trade involving the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs. The deal sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors for DeMar Derozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick. The key pieces of the trade were all-stars Leonard and DeRozan.

Demar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard

Leonard has had a history of injuries that allowed him to only play in nine games last year. Some Raptor fans criticized the trade as he openly stated that he wanted out of San Antonio and many believed he wishes to play in Los Angeles.

DeRozan, on the other hand loved being in Toronto. He became great friends with star point-guard Kyle Lowry and the two seemed inseparable. When the trade was announced, DeRozan reported that he felt it was a “knife to the heart” and was informed he would not be getting traded.

Image result for derozan and lowry laughing
Lowry and DeRozan

In a trade like this, you have one player calling their city “home” and the other desperate for departure. Yet this trade is made and you now have two unhappy players and it emphasizes the “winning-at-all-costs” mentality. This trade goes beyond sports as it has directly impacted the lives of both stars, specifically DeRozan. He is devastated and states how he was mislead through the process and that there is no loyalty. He had grown to love the city that drafted him yet this trade reiterates the business side of sports and how the player’s likes are not taken into consideration on numerous occasions. A main attribute that keeps athletes in sports is whether they enjoy their sport.

Questions arise from the result of this trade including: is there any enjoyment in highly competitive sports? The large emphasis society has placed on winning has grown to the extent that the players involved are the ones suffering the consequences. How far are people willing to go to win? Is there any loyalty in sports?

Featured image: Derozan and Leonard


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