People often say you should never meet your idols, but that's different when you're an NBA player. At some point, you'll meet that player who inspired you while growing up, and you can have a bad impression (like Dirk Nowitzki with Scottie Pippen) or a great one, as DeMar DeRozan had with his two favorite players of all time.
Being a shooting guard, it's not surprising that he idolized Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, the two best players in their position. DeMar had the chance to meet both and even competed against Kobe in the NBA, living magical moments on the court.
Talking with FS1's Shannon Sharpe on "Club Shay Shay," DeRozan recalled how incredible it was meeting his childhood idols (7:31).
“It was surreal. I mean, it’s only 2 people I’ve been around that had that type of aura. Where it was just kinda like, godly. It was him and Jordan. These 2 people, I swear.”
“Every time I walked on the court it was just a different type of feeling, you know. Like I don’t even know what it was, but I had the opportunity at 15 to work with Kobe. And every summer we used to play run games at LMU out here in LA.”
“So I was 16, 17, 18 and was always like…it just didn’t feel real. So by the time I got to the league, I kinda knew what to expect, but it was definitely a different atmosphere.”
Being around those guys must have been a terrific experience for anybody, and DeRozan was lucky enough to live it. He surely learned a lot from Kobe and MJ, even modeling his game after the two legends.
He's now looking to get a chance at winning the NBA championship, which won't be easy. DeRozan has been linked with several teams around the league in which will be a very moved offseason.