When he played high school hoops, Browns G Joel Bitonio guarded Kawhi Leonard and Demar DeRozan

From clevelandbrowns.com

Bitonio could sink 15-footers. He could weave in-and-out of traffic and spin home a gorgeous finger-roll. He could anchor a 1-2-2 zone press defense. Boxing out, playing help defense, finding the right opening to make the extra pass – Bitonio could do it all, and gracefully, too.   

During his senior year at Long Beach Wilson High School, Bitonio averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds – the latter led the powerhouse California league he played in. For portions of certain games, the coaches trusted Bitonio to guard future Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard – the former made the 2014 NBA All-Star game while the latter won the NBA Finals MVP over LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Second round draft pick in the NFL, future member of the NFL’s all rookie team, Cleveland Browns starting offensive lineman… All of that pales in the athletic achievement and overall coolness of guarding Demar DeRozan and the NBA Finals MVP while you were in high school.

Picture this. You’re sitting in the stands of  a dusty, dimly lit high school gym in California. In walks this guy named Demar:

Who can do things like this:

He’s gonna be a tough matchup so you’ll need to put your best wing defender on Demar. Someone who can match him step for step and challenge his every shot. Someone who is as well conditioned as DeRozan and someone with the same jumping ability and stamina. Who is that someone you may ask?

(press play, let it build a little)


Hitting the Road with the Browns: Jacksonville

Bet he shut Demar’s ass down too. No easy buckets, bitch.

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