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Source: Chicago Tribune / Getty

Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan recently opened up during an interview for The Old Man & The Three podcast about the weight he feels to deliver on the court. And the 13-year NBA vet told hosts JJ Redick and Tommy Alter that he believes the only time he will find relief is once he leaves the game for good.

“I don’t think I could truly be happy until I retire,” DeRozan said. “And I say that because of what you just said. Because there’s so much internal pressure to want to be great every single day. Every single day of like, ‘I got to go back to the gym. I didn’t do enough. I didn’t this. I didn’t this. Should I take the day off? No, no, no. I’mma just push through it… You carry that so much to where you can’t really fully be happy until you walk away from it.”

 

This past season, the 33-year-old DeRozan arguably had his best season in the league thus far. He made his fifth All-Star appearance and posted a career-high 27.9 points per game. The Bulls shooting guard also led the organization to their most wins since the 2014-2015 season, as well as their first return to the playoffs in five years.

But depression is something Derozan has struggled with for a big part of his life. “Man, you know, I’d be lying to tell you that I didn’t have days where, you know, it just got extremely heavy,” he shared earlier this year on The Draymond Green Show. “You know, you kind of just shut down and take a moment to yourself to kind of regroup.”

“My favorite saying to myself was always ‘Make something bad that happened make sense down the line.’ Whatever that may be,” he continued. “That’s all I used to tell myself. Let me make this negative make sense down the line. And I always told myself whenever I got down, whenever I felt a certain type of way.”

And back in 2018, while still a member of the Toronto Raptors, DeRozan appeared with fellow NBA star Kevin Love in a public service announcement encouraging people to ask for help whenever they feel the need. It came out in conjunction with the NBA’s campaign to promote mental health wellness and the league’s website, NBA Mind Health.

“We all go through something, no matter who you are,” he said. “Never be ashamed of wanting to be a better you, period,” said DeRozan.