Pascal Siakam figures to be the next face of the Toronto Raptors, even if it’s a designation he’s not worried about, and he has plenty of motivation to help his club defend the title in 2019-20.
Siakam addressed reporters during Saturday’s Media Day and though the Raptors should’ve earned the eternal respect of the basketball world after dispatching the Golden State Warriors in six games last spring, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
“The Toronto Raptors are always known to be that team that people don't look at and that puts a chip on our shoulder,” Siakam said.
Siakam took a seismic leap during the 2018-19 season, winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player after averaging 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists per game on 54.9 per cent shooting from the field.
OG Anunoby has been mentioned as a potential candidate to challenge for Most Improved this year. Siakam, however, cautioned against the weight of expectations.
“I think it's not fair to him. We've got to let OG continue to grow,” Siakam said.
The maple leaf as part of the Pascal logo >>> pic.twitter.com/kQNGd4jKcg— Vivek Jacob (@VivekMJacob) September 28, 2019
Siakam is blocking out the outside noise as he’s now expected to lead the Raptors, while beginning negotiations on an extension with the team. Asked about if he cares about where he ranks in ESPN and Sports Illustrated’s Top 100, Siakam couldn’t help but scoff and ask rhetorically where he was placed last year before his breakout campaign.
In any event, Siakam has all the confidence of a breakout star.
Pascal seems ready for Big Dog status. Ends media session with: "That was easy. Thank you."— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) September 28, 2019
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