DeMar DeRozan tells Paul George story behind his 'Deebo' nickname

DeRozan tells George story behind 'Deebo' nickname originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

DeMar DeRozan has carried his "Deebo" nickname with him for a long time.

In an appearance on the Podcast P with Paul George, the Chicago Bulls' two-time All-Star finally revealed the origin story.

"It all started, I was in sixth grade and I always used to hoop at PE (physical education) with the eighth graders," DeRozan told George on the podcast. "I remember I got into it with one of the eighth graders. Big dude. We ended up getting in a fight. And I beat him up.

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"I've never told this story. I swear to God, I've never told this story. I beat him up. Big dude. And the whole school was like, 'Oh, he got beat up like he was Deebo.' Everybody just stuck with it, calling me it after that."

Deebo was an antagonistic character from the 1995 movie "Friday." DeRozan said the nickname stuck prominently throughout middle school and high school as he grew up in Compton, Calif. But even he was surprised it carried over to the NBA.

"When people call me that, you have to know me from back home," DeRozan said. "So when it started carrying over to the NBA, I was just like I don't know how it got to the league."

DeRozan is known as a mild-mannered, calm player on the court. So the fight may sound a little out of character. But the reason the fight started doesn't sound like a surprise.


"I was so athletic. I was dunking, doing all this stuff every time. And I always used to beat all the seventh and eighth graders playing," DeRozan told George. "And one of them just fouled me real hard. We got into a scuffle. Turned into a fight. Beat him up and my popularity at school just started from there."

That popularity remains as DeRozan long has been known as one of the most respected players by his peers in the NBA.

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