SAN ANTONIO — In a heartfelt tribute on his Instagram page Friday, DeMar DeRozan announced that his father Frank passed away.
"Never missed a game, a practice, a opportunity to show me what a great father was," he said. "You pushed me my whole life to be able to withstand the roughest of times. Never seen you complain nor fold. All I cared about was making you proud."
DeRozan missed two games earlier in the season to be with his father after his condition worsened during a long illness. Members of the media in Toronto have shared that almost every chance he got, he would fly to Los Angeles between games to be with his dad.
"Over the past 3 years I seen you display the ultimate measure of a man fighting to the end," he wrote. "Wish I could tell you thank you one last time. Rest well Big Dog! Love you Dad..."
DeRozan has been with the Spurs in Charlotte for the last six days after the team had to quarantine due to positive coronavirus tests. Some members of the team flew back to San Antonio today, but it's unclear if DeRozan was among them or when he'll be able to be with his family. Whenever it is, expect him to get as much time as he needs.
Coach Gregg Popovich spoke earlier in the year about his star player's difficult situation.
"He's showed a lot of courage," Pop said in January. "He's still worried every day about the family and his dad. In some respects, I guess that's probably the time when his mind can drift for a bit, just go compete for a while. As soon as the game is over, you know what he is thinking about. We feel for him, but he is showing great professionalism, being strong and at the same time competing with his teammates."