After calling Toronto home for nine years, DeMar DeRozan is back for the second time as a member of the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
Naturally, with the Spurs making just one trip to Scotiabank a year per season, DeRozan was met with plenty of media prior to the game, who talked to him about a number of topics.
What did DeMar DeRozan say ahead of Sunday's game? From Kyle Lowry, the Raptors title and being a visitor in a familiar building, here are some of his best quotes…
Quotes obtained from Josh Lewenberg, Blake Murphy and Michael Grange.
On Kyle Lowry's play this season
DeRozan's best friend and former running mate Kyle Lowry entered the game averaging 20.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. In his 14th season.
A day after Lowry spoke highly of DeRozan's indelible impact on Toronto, DeRozan was asked about his friend's stellar play.
MORE: Lowry speaks on DeRozan's lasting impact
"He's been terrible." DeRozan quipped before adding, "Nah, Kyle's been great. It seems like the older he gets the better he gets. That's amazing to see."
On the Raptors' title
It's the second time DeRozan has visited Toronto on the opposing team but the first time he has been there with a championship banner in the rafters.
Like many former Raptors players and coaches, DeRozan was asked about how he viewed the Raptors winning the 2019 NBA title.
MORE: DeRozan opens up on Raps' title at media day
"I was happy for all the guys I played with. I think every single guy would tell you they had a text from me as soon as they got to their phone. To be connected to those guys and to this country and to see them do that, I was happy for them"
When asked if he took some pride in Toronto's title, DeRozan added:
"I mean, after a while. In the moment you're like, damn, damn. But there was never any ill feelings towards anything… So that's all it is, you just try to go out there and put yourself out there with those guys that you had a relationship, feeling that feeling. That's all it was."
On being back in Toronto as a visitor
DeRozan took the floor in Toronto as a member of the Raptors in 340 regular-season games and 27 more times in the playoffs. Being a visitor in that same building for just the second time would clearly be an unfamiliar feeling.
"It'll always be strange. The amount of time that I was here, coming back it always brings back old memories."
Despite a season of ups and downs, DeRozan and the Spurs are one of a number teams in the Western Conference that look to be in contention for the eighth seed.
DeRozan has stepped his game up as of late, averaging 27.2 points (on 63.8% shooting), 5.7 assists and 4.6 rebounds over the last 10 games.
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