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Published on January 16th, 2016 | by PEM

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NBA All Star DeMar DeRozan fame, grind and work ethics were helped shaped by being around Master P and Romeo

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DeMar DeRozan was exposed to the lush life well before he ever became a Toronto Raptor or made his first million. As a teenager on an AAU team sponsored by hip-hop mogul Percy “Master P” Miller, DeRozan fostered a still-close relationship with Miller’s son, rapper/actor Romeo, and would spend weekends at the Miller home, surrounded by a level of opulence that belied his modest existence back home in Compton, Calif.

Visits to shopping malls with Romeo usually ended with a swarm of fans trailing them every step of the way. DeRozan got to sit in on video and movie shoots. He learned about the work required to earn and maintain celebrity – and decided that the chase for fame would never outpace the drive to succeed.
“I got to see both worlds. You see that lifestyle early on and you realize, ‘This is what it is?’ ” DeRozan told. “I already had my mindset when I had nothing. It’s cool to have all that, but it’s all about the work and the grind to get to that.”
DeRozan describes his lifestyle off the court as “stagnant” because he craves quiet more than attention. Time not spent playing basketball or working on his game likely involves watching basketball or cartoons with his daughter Diar. “It’s not what some people expect. They look at you, like, ‘You’re in the league. You’ve got all this. You’re supposed to do this. You’re supposed to do that,’ ” DeRozan told . “Keep it simple, nothing special. I’m just content with doing that. You know, the little things matter.”

With the All-Star game in Toronto for the first time, DeRozan hopes that he and Lowry represent the Raptors. Should he join Carter and Bosh as the franchise’s only players to make multiple All-Star appearances, DeRozan still plans to stay low-key and heed the advice Master P gave him before basketball changed his fortunes.

“Never get caught up in the lifestyle, because you can have it all one day and lose it the next. He really taught me that early on. So I think it, it helped me now, because no matter what I get, or how much I have now, I still remember what it feels like to have nothing,” DeRozan told . “I try to get better every single year, to where people do realize, every single year, I got better. You can never deny that. I’m going to stick to that, until I’ll be one of those old guys out there and the young guys are running past me. Until that day comes, I’m going to have that mindset.”


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