DeMar DeRozan signed a three-year, $81.9 million contract with the Chicago Bulls last offseason. However, before that deal was signed, DeRozan dealt with uncertainty about his future and self-doubt about his free agency.
The five-time All-Star said that last summer didn't go as planned for him. At one point DeRozan thought he was headed to play for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers. That deal fell through, and that put him in a "dark place".
"Big names always kinda sign in the first day or two. I went a couple days into free agency with still such a question mark. Was I gonna go somewhere on a one-year deal? Was I gonna take the minimum? The narrative of it ... it put me in such a f*cked up place," DeRozan said. "I remember through that whole time it was three, four days I didn't leave out the room. I didn't see the sunset, I didn't see the sun come up ... I was depressed, it put me in a depressed mindset cause I didn't know what the f*ck was gonna happen."
DeRozan said the opportunity with the Chicago Bulls was one he was determined to make the most of.
“When the Chicago thing came around and I made that happen, it was such a relief. But at the same time, it angered me and put me in a very frustrating mental place. I’m about to demolish anything you gotta say about me,” DeRozan said. “I’m not going to say nothing. I’m just going to work my ass off. And I’m going to prove not just for myself but for anybody who feel like they get counted out, they get doubted or get told that they can’t do something.
“My whole career has kind of been based off that. But I never let it bring me completely down. It knocked me down. But I got back up. And for me, that moment of going to Chicago, I just told myself, ‘This is a new opportunity. I’m going to make the most out of it in every type of way.’”