Although the national media seems to revel in any chance they get to take shots at Chicago Bulls All-Star DeMar DeRozan, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore just how much the players on the actual court respect his game. Despite recently being named one of the NBA’s most overrated players by Bleacher Report, Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann seems to think otherwise when he called DeRozan the hardest player to guard in the NBA on Podcast P with Paul George.
Mann specifically names other stars like Jimmy Butler and Luka Doncic as being difficult to defend, but puts DeRozan ahead of the rest. I can’t exactly say I blame Mann for feeling that way after DeRozan dropped 35 points on 75% shooting and then later 50 points on 65% shooting in each of his meetings with the Clippers in 2022.
Here’s what Mann had to say when discussing just what makes DeMar such a dynamic offensive threat.
"“DeMar is probably my toughest cover. I don’t have anyone else that I have problems with, not even [Paul George] over here. I mean yeah, as a young player and a young defender, you want to make plays and he’s going to exploit that… my first couple of years he’s pump faking, ball faking, his footwork is getting me in positions when I’m out of positions – he knows I’m going to bump him, foul. So if I would’ve played a whole game I would have fouled out guarding him back then. But now, I know what I’m doing.”"
Despite a lack of team success on the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan continues to be one of the NBA’s most dynamic offensive threats.
In a previous episode of Podcast P, DeRozan was a guest and hinted that he was aware of Mann’s tendencies and could catch him off guard or get the young forward into foul trouble at will. Even Paul George himself agreed with DeMar’s assertions, teasing his teammate Mann about the mismatches the Bulls’ star has been able to create in head-to-head scenarios.
This podcast was filled with interesting stories about other NBA players like Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, and Kawhi Leonard, and even features the father-son duo of Kenyon Martin and Kenyon Martin Jr. If you want to specifically watch the segment about DeMar, however, you can skip to the 25:50 timestamp on the video.
Funny enough, this isn’t the first time an acclaimed defender in the league has spoken about just how difficult DeRozan can be to guard. When he was still a member of the Pelicans, Lonzo Ball was already giving DeMar his flowers all the way back in 2019.
"“[DeRozan] put like 40 on me that day. It was definitely my ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment. So out of all the guys in the league, I gotta respect Demar DeRozan, because he was the first one who showed me the level I needed to be at to compete in this league. That’s something I’ll never forget.”"
Hopefully, DeMar proves to have plenty more juice left in the tank. Because if Mann and Lonzo are to be believed, we could possibly witness DeRozan join Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose this season as the only Chicago Bulls players to earn three consecutive All-Star appearances in the last 25 years.