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Though now on the separate side of the league, San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich has no love lost for DeMar DeRozan. 

The star swingman is on a tear this season for the rising Chicago Bulls, and the legendary coach has nothing, but praise in his former protege. 

“It doesn’t surprise me one iota,” Popovich said about DeRozan’s current performance, per TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. “As you well know, he’s a great guy, great teammate. He does what he does and he does it really well, and he’s brought that to Chicago.”

DeRozan, after an unexpected flip by the Toronto Raptors in which he landed in Texas in 2018, found a home in San Antonio in courtesy of the warming presence and reception of Popovich. The four-time All-Star has always expressed his admiration for the 72-year-old mentor and how it affected his growth as a player and as a person. 

As he is now donning a red and black uniform in his first season with the Bulls, DeRozan remains thankful for the things he learned from the tactician in the past three seasons. 

DeRozan, a likely MVP candidate this 2021-2022 campaign, is having a revenge tour with Chicago. Leading his team with a 25-10 record and in the top seed of the barbaric Eastern Conference, he is averaging 26.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting almost 50 percent from the field.