by John Hobbs / @johnswisshobbs

LONDON — A relaxed DeMar DeRozan took to the O2 Arena floor a different man to what he was the previous day, when he had not long got off the plane. He was energetic and joking around with teammates, then THAT question about the recent Dunk Contest popped up.

The Raptors‘ rising star though took the question in his stride — the second-year pro rolled his eyes and laughed.

“As of right now, personally, I don’t want to do the Dunk Contest anymore. I did it two years in a row, and it was definitely fun, and I had a great experience with it, but for me, it’s time to move on from the All-Star Weekend,” DeRozan stated.

Many people thought DeRozan should have advanced to the final round, but it was not meant to be. The man from USC brushed that chapter away now, and is ready to go here in London.

“We’re looking forward to taking the floor here. It’s different than what we’re accustomed to, no doubt. But, it’s just another regular-season contest, and we’re going to play to win, simple,” DeRozan explained.

The final game before their trans-Atlantic adventure was a 96-90 victory over New Orleans, where DeRozan hit 17 points, skidding a two-game slide.

“We want to finish this season off strong, we’ve had a tough season, and all we can do is finish strong,” DeRozan admitted.

Follow John on SLAMonline and Twitter @johnswisshobbs for Raptors coverage in London.