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NBA / Jan 19, 2010 / 9:30 am

DeMar DeRozan Talks A Little Trash About His Dunk-In Opponent Eric Gordon

DeMar DeRozan (photo. Nicky Woo)

Long before he even landed in Canada, DeMar DeRozan was known worldwide for his dunking abilities. The Compton native has been compared to everyone from the Chicago playground legend Ronnie Fields to another former Raptors high flyer, Vince Carter. There’s no question that people in Toronto were thrilled when the Raptors made the super athletic shooting guard out of USC the ninth overall selection in last June’s draft.

DeRozan has started all 41 of the Raptors’ games and has averaged 8 ppg and 2.8 rpg. While he still has a long ways to go – particularly with his outside shot – he’s shown some flashes of promise. Against the Knicks on Friday night, DeRozan scored 19 points and displayed his aggressiveness by getting to the line 14 times.

Over the year, he’s also raised some eyebrows with his dunk repertoire. On All-Star Weekend, DeRozan will get to show off those hops even more when he competes in the first ever Dunk-In contest between him and the Clippers’ Eric Gordon. The winner of the duel (that will take place during halftime of the Rookie/Sophomore Game) will compete in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night.

I sat down with DeMar before the Knicks/Raptors game on Friday to discuss the dunk contest among other things…

Dime: How excited are you for the Dunk-In?
DeMar DeRozan: I’m very excited. It’s just an honor to be out there representing my teammates. It should be fun.

Dime: What do you know about Eric Gordon as a dunker?
DD: He’s not a dunker, I know he’s a three-point shooter (laughs). But, you know, I’ve seen him do some stuff, he can get up. He’s athletic, I’m not going to underestimate him at all. I know he can get up and do a couple of things, so it should be interesting.

Dime: Do you already have some tricks up your sleeve?
DD: Yeah, I always have some tricks up my sleeve when it comes down to a dunk contest. But I can’t tell y’all what it’s going to be, you’re just going to have to wait.

Dime:When was the last time you competed in a dunk contest?
DD: The McDonald’s contest in high school (he won the McDonald’s All-American dunk contest in 2008).

Dime: Did you watch a lot of dunk contests growing up?
DD: Yeah, I watched the NBA one every year. I was always interested in dunk contests. You know, it’s entertaining. It’s fun to watch players do a lot of stuff that they maybe wouldn’t do in a game, so it’s very interesting.

Dime: Give me your top three dunks of all time in an NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
DD: My top three? Vince Carter dunk in 2000. The 360 windmill. I’d also have to say Jordan, when he came up and under with one hand (DeMar imitates the dunk that is on the 1:46 mark of this video). Then the year Jason Richardson won it, where he went between his legs.

Dime: You’ve been in the league a couple of months now. Who is the best player you’ve faced so far?
DD: So far? I’d say Dwyane Wade…by far.

Dime: How do you think you’re season is going so far?
DD: The season is going great. I’m still learning, still getting better every day and that’s what I’m looking for.

Dime: How are you liking Canada?
DD: You know I love it. I hate the weather though, it’s too cold. It’s way different from back home in L.A. I love the city. There’s not too much difference. It’s more diverse, I’d have to say that about Toronto. Since it’s international, I do a lot of Skyping and iChat to people back home, so I’m glad we have technology. Other than that it’s the same.

Dime: Who is the best player from L.A. that’s not in the league right now but should be?
DD: I’d say Jeff Trepagnier. He went to USC. He got in the league but didn’t stay long. But I think he should be in the League.

Dime: When you were in high school, did you play a lot of pickup with NBA guys?
DD: LeBron and Kobe, going to their camps and everything. Paul Pierce also. When I was younger, I used to go to Tayshaun Prince’s house a lot and play in his backyard.

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  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    he sure as hell better at least win the dunk-in.
    because this guy still can’t shoot for shit.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    so . . . nba office would rather a guy repping an LA franchise than, you know, a dunker like Ronnie Brewer . . . silly. Brewer (heck, even cory brewer) should have been in the dunk off. Not some chubby outside shooter.

    http://www.82games.com/0809/FGSORT16.HTM

    Last season only twoe guard/forwards had more dunks than Ronnie Brewer: Iggy and LeBron. Brewer had more dunks than Wade, Gay, Amar’e, K-Mart, Tyrus Thomas, Josh Smith, Bynum, etc.

    why not have two athletic guys who can’t shoot in the dunk contest dunk in? kinda just ‘gifting’ DeMar’s ascention past this first round with who he’s up against.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    Comparisons to Vince and Ronnie? this kid is more on Richard Jefferson’s level of Dunking. He doesnt get up no where near those other cats. At best he’d be in Jason Richardson’s category and that may even be a stretch. We’ll see when the contest rolls around, but I don’t even see him beating Eric Gordon (who is 6’4 and will look better on his dunks).

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    This is Gerald

    @ Chicagorilla

    Yeah, I agree he is not on Ronnie Fields level as a dunker. But as far as a high school athlete getting that kind of hype for his dunks, that’s where the comparison comes in. He kind of is the Ronnie Fields of the Youtube generation. And yes, he’s not Vince as well, but he is probably the most exciting draft pick the Raptors have drafted since Carter.

    But I can tell you he’s a hell of a lot more exciting as a dunker than RJ!! Did you watch the McDonald’s clip?

  • ShowKase

    -“It’s more diverse, I’d have to say that about Toronto.”
    Translation:
    -“These hoes out here in Toronto come in all colors!”

  • Nick

    “but he is probably the most exciting draft pick the Raptors have drafted since Carter”

    I heard that Bosh guy is alright… And that guy who was dropping 28-footers and dunking on Dirk the other day, him too, I believe he was a #1 overall pick… Hell, even Charlie V. dropped 48 one game in his rookie year…

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    This is Gerald

    @ Nick

    I was referring to DeRozan being the most exciting rookie Toronto has drafted, as far as highlight reel dunks are concerned

  • K Dizzle

    @ Chicagorilla

    Eric Gordon has absolutely no chance to beat DeMar. Not a big difference in height but EG just not that explosive. Even when TNT was showin his dunk “hilights”, he doesn’t really get up. Even he said, he was shocked to be chosen. Him and his family expected him to be in for the 3 pt shootout. NBA execs are straight outta touch with the league. ALl the highflyers and dunkers in the l, and they pick a kid who doesn’t really put on a dunking show. Coulda called Westbrook, Gay, Flynn etc

  • jzsmoove

    i was pretty excited when the Raptors picked up Derozan but I am honestly disappointed so far from what ive seen

  • DK

    Good for Demar, he can do all kinds of dunks. In fact, he wouldnt even be in the league if he couldnt dunk because thats all he does. Idk why they even picked EJ… but dont get it twisted its not like they picked Scalabrine, he can get up man. He’s just not labeled as a dunker because he can actually find other ways to score, like spotting up and shooting (imagine that)… EJ won’t fold, so I’d advise Demar to come hard. The dunk contest is irrelevant anyway. EJ’s way way way better than Demar Derozan… so that’s all that matters.

  • K Dizzle

    @ jzsmoove – maybe your expectations are too high seein as how kid is improvin…

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Should of asked him if he had the power to sign Jeff Trepagnier in the league but at the same time release Brian Scalebrine in doing so, would he do it?

    Also, what ever happened to those amateur dunkers that were supposed to compete in the slam dunk contest. I believe the winner among the amateurs was to be given entry. Anyone know if they’re going to be included or not?

  • shaz

    Gordon must be working on his dunks to. . . Im sure it’ll be a tough match up. . . It’s stupid to say this guy or that guys gonna win hands down. . . As far as comparing him to vince. . . Come on people be realistic! you can’t compare any dunker to vince carter. . . Vince carter by far was the most innovative and creative dunker. . . When he put his arm through the rim people didn’t even realize what just happened it was pure shock! When he dunked over the french on the USA team I was like man this guys crazy! You know im from Toronto and before vince never really cared about basketball accept for the big teams like lakers, utah, chicago. . . But after vince came i became a basketball junkie. . . Demar derozan is an exciting dunker toronto hasn’t had since vince! and honestly vince was the man! I REMEMBER when lakers shaq and kobe had beef, lakers offered kobe for vince in my head I was thinking no wayyyyy back then! now i’d do it in a second tho haha