DeMar DeRozan doesn’t remember when he first started his unique habit of giving imaginary “dap” to invisible teammates when shooting solo free throws after a technical or flagrant foul.
“But it was a long time ago,” DeRozan said. “I think I was just being silly.”
What DeRozan does know is once he started it, he never stopped.
“I’m such a creature of habit with all the things I do on the court,” he said. “So once I started it, I stuck with it.”
Now that he’s a member of the Chicago Bulls, it’s amusing to watch DeRozan continue his habit. He pretends to fist bump teammates that aren’t standing there.
“When I first started it, people would put it on Instagram and make jokes. But I just stuck with it,” DeRozan said. “It’s just my normal routine.
“I’m such a creature of habit. And if I’m shooting a regular free throw, I’m going to go dap everybody. So with nobody there, I still do the same thing.”
This creature of habit dynamic extends to other areas. DeRozan long ago borrowed a page out of the Kevin Garnett playbook by leaping high to goaltend opposing shots if they come after an official’s whistle stoppage.
“That’s an honor to KG. That comes from me having an opportunity to play in that era of basketball,” DeRozan said. “KG would always say, ‘I’m not letting anybody get a free rhythm shot.’ And I just stuck with it.
“KG used to do it. Amar'e Stoudemire used to do it. A lot of the bigs would do it when you shot after the whistle. I loved it.”
So much that DeRozan said he tries to get some of his Bulls teammates to do the same.
“I tell guys if I’m not in the game, ‘Block that shot,’” DeRozan said. “It’s old school stuff.”
From his midrange game to his mimicking of Garnett, DeRozan is proudly old school. That deserves more than imaginary dap.