Tonight marked the night the world got a small glimpse of what Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan had in store for NBA fans of all ages. Seated here in my hotel in Dallas - got tickets to see the game on Sunday - I sat patiently, eager to see what the "Compton Kid" was going to bust out.
And the honest to goodness truth?
I was left slightly disappointed. But that's my own fault really. I simply was just too greedy. As a Raptors fan coming off a high of the recent success the team has been seeing, I wanted DeMar to go out there and absolutely destroy Eric Gordon.
"We're always forgotten about" Chris Bosh said of the Raptors during his All-Star weekend scrum. "We don't get any nationally televised games in the States...the players don't get the recognition...DeMar DeRozan was even left off the rookie team."
It's that same lack of respect the Raptors usually get that fueled a strong desire in me to see DeRozan make a statement right off the bat. But DeMar played it right. And good on him for not busting out the bag of tricks tonight, something that any young player would have gotten caught up in doing.
He simply did what needed to be done, and that's advanced to the real battle tomorrow night. It's going to be special ladies and gentlemen. DeMar barely looked like he was trying during the dunk-in, and I'm glad both the commentators and the voters saw that as well.
DeMar's a showman. If you've followed him throughout his AAU days, during his high school career, and as well at USC, you know DeMar loves to put on a show. And let's be real here for a second - but DeRozan did NOT put on a show tonight. For someone as energetic and excited as he's been, he didn't show any of it on his face or in his dunks tonight. And you know what? That's exactly how he wants it.
He's promised us something special for this weekend. And I believe he'll pull through. Get ready Raptors fans. A storm is brewing, and your high flying rookie is in the centre of it all.