DeRozan has ‘vendetta' against teams that low-balled him


Revenge is a dish best served cold.

That iconic line, originally from "The Godfather," was DeMar DeRozan's mantra entering his first season with the Chicago Bulls, the All-Star forward said in a recent appearance on JJ Redick and Tommy Alter's recent appearance on The Old Man and The Three podcast.

"I stuck with that," DeRozan said on the podcast. "That was my whole mentality every time I went out and played."

Revenge against who, you might ask?

That line came in the context of DeRozan describing his free agency experience in 2021, which went from thinking a contract with the Lakers was a "done deal" to signing a three-year, $82 million pact with the Bulls.

Not only did the Lakers pivot off of DeRozan by making an ill-fated trade for Russell Westbrook, according to DeRozan, there was also a team that offered him a veteran's minimum contract.

And if there is one thing Bulls fans know about DeRozan, it's that he uses disrespect as motivation.

"It pissed me off," DeRozan said of the minimum offer. "And I try to make it evident, especially when I play certain teams. It’s easy to tell. Because I made it a personal vendetta against a handful of teams, for sure."

DeRozan declined to share which teams he is referring to. But let's use Los Angeles as an example. DeRozan averaged 38 points, 6 assists and shot 55 percent in two wins — one by five points, one by 18 — against the Lakers last season; against the Clippers, another team that was rumored to be interested in DeRozan and would have satisfied his desire to play at home, he posted 35- and 50-point performances.

In fact, most NBA teams felt DeRozan's wrath at one point or another. He averaged a career-high 27.9 points and made second-team All-NBA in his first year with the Bulls, a banner campaign in many respects.

Don't expect that chip on DeRozan's shoulder to go anywhere this coming season.

"At this point, I always find humor in it," DeRozan said of his doubters on media day. "You always try to find reasons to be motivated. At this point, I have so many other motivational factors that it becomes laughable. I always use whatever I can take. It’s kind of like free energy. I indulge in it and just let them eat their words whenever they eat it. But it’s never my main focal point on driving me. But it do irk me here and there."

Stay tuned for what is in store next.

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