DeRozan on Cana­dian cover of NBA video game

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

An all-star with a $139mil­lion con­tract, Toronto Rap­tors guard DeMar DeRozan is liv­ing large in the NBA.

But the 27-year-old from Comp­ton, Calif., never thought he would grace the cover of a video game. “It was al­ways a dream of mine, when I was a kid and (would) cre­ate my­self in the game. Let alone now be­ing an NBA player, be­ing a part of the game now,” he said. “It’s just an hon­our to be on the cover, rep­re­sent­ing, giv­ing my fans in Canada ... It’s def­i­nitely a cool thing and I’m def­i­nitely ap­pre­cia­tive to be a part of it.”

DeRozan will be the Cana­dian cover ath­lete for “NBA 2K18,” due out in Septem­ber.

Kyrie Irv­ing of the Cleve­land Cava­liers will grace the cover out­side of Canada, with Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal fea­tured on two spe­cial ver­sions of the game: the Leg­end Edi­tion and Leg­end Gold.

DeRozan has long been an avid gamer. “That’s all I did grow­ing up is play video games, try­ing to play ev­ery new game that came out,” he said. “Now I kind of stick to the ba­sics, just play­ing ‘Mad­den’ and ‘2K.’ Now to be on the cover of ‘2K’ makes it even bet­ter.”

For­mer Rap­tor Ter­rence Ross, now with the Or­lando Magic, was one of DeRozan’s gam­ing part­ners in Toronto.

“He kept me up on a lot of the new games, so he kind of kept me young when it came to that,” said DeRozan.

The Rap­tors guard said he has some skills once he gets a chance to in­vest some hours into a game.

“‘Mad­den’ was one of my go-to games that I was pretty good at. Box­ing, golf. But once I lock in and play for a cou­ple of days, I get pretty good at it.”

DeRozan also mar­vels at the re­al­ism of to­day’s video games.

“It’s crazy. Now you can play 2K and you can hear your favourite player’s voice giv­ing an in­ter­view.”

DeRozan also likes the con­stant game up­dates, which add to the re­al­ism.

“I just try to do ev­ery­thing that I don’t do in a game, just have fun with it,” he said.

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