DeMar DeRozan Criticized For LeBron James Statement: NBA Player Under Stress?

DeMar DeRozan tried to take the Toronto Raptors to victory yesterday during game 4 of the playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he had to face the harsh reality that the Raptors would fall to the Cavaliers for the second year in a row near the end of the fourth quarter. When the last quarter started, the Toronto Raptors had a chance to win the game, as only a few points separated the teams. However, during the last few minutes, LeBron James stepped up and managed to create a gap between the teams on the court, and DeRozan couldn’t keep up. With Kyle Lowry injured on the bench, DeMar had the pressure on his shoulders to make it work without Kyle.

According to a new report, DeMar DeRozan spoke out to the media about losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers just an hour after being eliminated from the NBA playoffs for the second year in a row. And maybe emotions were running high because DeRozan revealed that the Toronto Raptors would also have won the series if LeBron had played for them. The statement may have been an honest answer during a time where he was reeling from the loss, but it didn’t sit well with fans of the team.

During a press conference after the game, DeMar DeRozan was asked about the loss and about what he thought was the biggest difference between the two teams. As it turns out, DeRozan thought that LeBron James was the biggest difference and if they had him on their side, they would have won as well. Shortly after the comment from DeMar, reactions started to pop up on social media, and they weren’t all favorable.

“If we had LeBron on our team, too, we would have won,” DeRozan said during the press conference, perhaps still upset about the sweep, adding, “We could say that all day and all the time, but we didn’t. It happened. We got swept. It’s going to be one of those long summers for us.”

“This is a brutal quote from a guy who’s supposed to be a star player. Depressing for Raptors fans,” one person wrote on Twitter in response to DeMar’s comment about winning if Toronto had LeBron on their team.

Of course, this is the second year in a row where DeMar DeRozan has had to face an elimination thanks to LeBron James. And as long as he’s playing in the Eastern Conference, this is something he will have to deal with every year. Since James is such a strong player, he can be tough to beat, and the times that the Toronto Raptors have managed to beat them, it has been a close call. And one can imagine that it is disheartening to be reminded every year that you are just not good enough.

Could DeMar DeRozan have said what he said because he’s under stress? DeRozan has often been teamed up with Kyle Lowry, and the two clearly make the Raptors work. But with Lowry’s free agency status looming this summer, DeMar could be looking to play for the Raptors next season without Kyle. He is rumored to be exploring other options if the Toronto Raptors don’t step up to offer a salary increase. And if the Raptors don’t act fast another team may swoop him up.

What do you think of DeMar DeRozan’s comment during the press conference after the game? Do you think it was just an honest comment that he shouldn’t be criticized for, or do you think he was just bitter after losing such an important game in a clear sweep?

[Featured Image by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]