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"I don't think I could truly be happy until I retire" - DeMar DeRozan pulls the curtain back on daily rigors of NBA life

The NBA is such a high-pressure environment that Deebo already knows how he’ll feel when he retires.
Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan

In a recent appearance on the podcast The Old Man & The Three with former NBA sharpshooter JJ Redick, Chicago Bulls shooting guard DeMar DeRozan opened up about the daily grind and pressures of being an NBA player. He admitted that he doesn't think he could be truly happy until he retires from the league. This is a rare glimpse into the life of an NBA player, and it offers some valuable insights into what they go through daily.

In the pressure cooker every day

DeRozan is a five-time All-Star who the Bulls consistently rely on to lead them to victories day in and out. He averaged 27.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game last season and is expected to carry more playmaking duties in the 2022-2023 season, with starting guard Lonzo Ball expected to miss a huge chunk of the Bulls' campaign, if not all of it

But with all of that success comes a lot of pressure. So much pressure, in fact, that it has led to DeRozan pondering about the happiness he'll feel when he finally walks away from the game.

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"I don't think I could truly be happy until I retire. 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. Should I take the day off? No, no, no. I'm just gonna push through it," said DeRozan.

Having the fate of an entire NBA franchise and city on your shoulders can be daunting for anyone, let alone a 33-year-old trying to figure out this whole life thing. It's clear that the mental and physical toll that being an NBA player takes on one's body can be extremely draining.

"You carry that so much to where you can't really fully be happy until you walk away from it," shared DeRozan.

Added load

With the Bulls not expecting Ball to suit up anytime soon, DeRozan is expected to not only score but also handle the ball more. It won't be surprising to see the Los Angeles native's usage rate increase and reach an all-time high. Last season, DeRozan had a usage percentage of 26.3. But with Ball not in the picture, can the wingman eclipse his all-time high of 34.3% back in 2016?

"That's a lot of pressure. I'm not gonna lie to y'all, that s--t is hard," said DeRozan about the added load he has to carry.

But despite all the difficulties and challenges that come with being an NBA player, DeRozan still loves what he does and wouldn't change a thing. It's clear that being an NBA player is not as easy as it looks on television. The grind is real, and the pressure is immense. But for DeRozan, he knows that it's all worth it in the end.

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