No team loves Deebo as much as the Toronto Raptors do. Clearly, the feeling is mutual but no one besides him and the 6ix seems to understand. And DeMar DeRozan's Toronto return, particularly the warm welcome he received as an opposing player, seemed to baffle his coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich.
Pop interrupted his player's postgame press scrum after his team's 105-104 win over the Raptors on Sunday night to play down the star's performance and his reception from the city.
DeRozan was answering questions surrounded by a media mob until his coach interrupted.
"He made a couple of baskets, big deal," said the deadpan Popovic to the crowd of cameras as DeRozan had a big cheeky smile on his face, per Yahoo Sports Canada.
"Is he a hero or what? He's got another game in a couple of days," asked Pop of the media.
"He's still our hero," replied one of the attending throng in response to Pop. Damn straight, brave reporter.
Now, at the outset, we'll lay out the fact that we think the longest-serving coach in any major U.S. sports league was taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to his comments.
After all, DeRozan's performance on Sunday night deserved plaudits.
The ex-Raptor wowed his former adoring crowd with 22 points in the second half, along with eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
It's fair to say that after the Spurs' one-point win, DeRozan would have been the man to talk to anyway.
Throw in the fact that this was his second-ever return to the 6ix after nearly a decade with the Raps, and you can surely forgive the attention.
If Sunday's reunion proved one thing, it's that Deebo is still the man in TO.
Not only was he given a second tribute video and hailed by the crowd, but he also seized the chance to surprise his bro Pascal Siakam and the other guys after the game.
He also didn't miss out on giving a shout out on Siakam's overall game.
There you go, then. Another happy reunion.
Talk of DeRozan possibly rejoining the Raptors may have been branded as nonsense by fans, but it seems the emotion is still strong.
Let us love him if we want to, Pop!