COMMENTARY: Is DeMar DeRozan among the NBA’s elite?

Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan looks up in the second half in Game 1 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, on May 1, 2017, in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak/Associated Press)

By Rick Zamperin, News Anchor 900CHML

Is Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan really a superstar?

There’s no denying that he’s the best player on the Toronto Raptors — with apologies to fellow All-Star teammate Kyle Lowry.

But should DeRozan be mentioned in the same breath as the NBA’s elite?

I mean, he’s scored a total of 24 points in two losses against the Cavaliers in their second-round playoff series, including just five points in a Game 2 blowout.

I had a great conversation Wednesday night with CHML talk-show host and Hamilton Spectator sports columnist Scott Radley.

We agreed that unless your favourite NBA team has a superstar player, you have no chance of celebrating an NBA championship.

None, zero, zilch, zippo.

From the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s and the dominant Lakers of the ’80s to the Chicago Bulls of the ’90s and San Antonio Spurs of the new millenium, they all had superstar players.

Bill Russell, “Magic” Johnson, Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan — all superstars.

Look around the NBA today, and players in the superstar category include Cleveland’s LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant with Golden State, Houston’s James Harden, and OKC’s Russell Westbrook.

This year’s champion, aside from the now eliminated Thunder, will come from that group — and everyone else can only dream of raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the culmination of the NBA Finals.

I hate to say it, but until the Raptors truly get a superstar, they won’t win anything.