The impact that Chicago Bulls All-Star DeMar DeRozan has had on the younger generation of NBA players cannot be denied.

But is his impact on the level of Michael Jordan?

“Yes,” Oklahoma City Thunder guard forward Luguentz Dort exclaimed, per Brandon Robinson of Bally Sports.

“DeRozan was probably one of them that we all really watched on TV,” Dort said. “And if I had to add some other guys: Andrew Wiggins in high school, you know, had one of the top basketball mixtapes so we would watch that, and Steve Nash. Everybody had been talking about Steve Nash back in Canada, so I’ve heard of him and watched his highlights a little bit. But on TV, it was really DeMar DeRozan carrying the team.”

Dort went to college at Arizona State but he grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. DeRozan spent the first nine years of his NBA career with the Toronto Raptors earning four All-Star selections and helping to orchestrate the bulk of seven straight playoff appearances.

Toronto and Quebec are not exactly close – they’re actually over 300 miles apart.

But Dort pointed out that he was unable to watch the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers growing up.

His current team, the Thunder did not exist yet. They were still known as the Seattle Supersonics until 2008 but presumably equally as unavailable on Canadian television. The Grizzlies moved from Vancouver – which is clear across the country – to Memphis in 2001 when Dort was two years old.

“I was a soccer player and all my friends were playing basketball,” Dort said of what began his basketball journey. “And then Toronto was the only team that we had, and growing up…So I had to watch (the Raptors).”

Toronto won the NBA title in 2019 after sending DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.

For all the good times
For all you’ve done for this City, for Canada

Thank you, @DeMar_DeRozan

— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 23, 2019

Dort entered the league as an undrafted free agent the following season and has quickly become one of the league’s better defenders. While defense is not necessarily DeRozan’s forte, having that sort of lasting impact on the next generation is.

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Western Conference Rival Sends Strong Message on Bulls Star DeMar DeRozan

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