Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri has admitted there’s still a lot of work to be done on his relationship with DeMar DeRozan.
Ujiri gained some infamy after firing head coach Dwane Casey and trading DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, but he was vindicated by a championship in the end. Speaking to TNT’s Ernie Johnson in a recent interview, Ujiri revealed having patched things up with Casey but explained his relationship with DeRozan is still a work in progress.
“I will never forget, I will never, ever forget having to do that with Coach Casey and walking to his office, waking up that morning,” he said.
“Many times I wanted to move it and change it or think that you’re not making the right decision. It was incredibly hard, because Casey is an incredible person, and so great to work with. … DeMar, I was in the hotel in Kenya, and I walked around that hotel at 4 a.m., 5 a.m., for a couple hours, trying to gather up enough strength and courage to make this phone call. I will never forget it.
“With Casey, it has gotten so much better now with his family and him. With DeMar there is still plenty of work to be done. But, by the grace of God, it will all get better. We have to continue to make these decisions that are tough. But that’s the business of basketball, and the position that we are in.”
Of course, Ujiri’s decision ultimately proved to be sound, but things could have gone the other way just as easily.
Transcription Credit: ESPN