Bobby Webster and the Toronto Raptors three highest ranked coaches were called into the office of Masai Ujiri on December 19th before summoning in DeMar DeRozan.
"I didn't know what the hell was going on," DeRozan recalls. "I thought, 'S---, I know I can't be traded.' It was like I was being called into the principal's office.'"
The Raptors had reinvented their offense but they needed something more from DeRozan.
Ujiri told DeRozan they wanted him to become Toronto's Kobe Bryant as a lifetime player who defines a franchise, but they needed him to shoot more three-pointers.
If DeRozan began to shoot more three-pointers, he would take less contact, create more space and possessions would flow more naturally.
"When everyone has that kind of confidence in you -- that you can carry a franchise -- it gives you that extra confidence," DeRozan said. "For them to say I could be in [Kobe's] position -- it was an honor accepting that fully."
DeRozan has since averaged more almost four three-point attempts per game.
"Is [the new offense] gonna translate into the playoffs?" Casey asks. "We're gonna find out."
The league is respectful, yet skeptical. "We take that disrespect," DeRozan says, "and carry it into games."