It’s almost expected for this iteration of the Toronto Raptors to be slept on, as pundits and prognosticators routinely fail to account for the team’s constant success, a roster that outperforms the sum of its parts. Time and again, the Raptors haven’t received the necessary national attention they warrant and Pascal Siakam is fed up.
Siakam spoke to reporters Thursday after spending most of the offseason offline following the team’s elimination by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs.
An out-of-town reporter noted that the team’s championship in 2019 was “surprising” when framing a question for Siakam, and the All-Star forward had absolutely no time to entertain that notion.
Here’s how the exchanged played out:
Reporter: I just wanted to know, first, a couple of years ago the Raptors surprisingly won the NBA championship and last season you guys had to live with the expectations of being -
Siakam: What do you mean surprisingly? What does that even mean?
Reporter: No, it wasn’t that way - people were just pointing out that the Warriors were the favourites, that’s all.
Siakam didn’t appear to buy the reporter’s explanation whatsoever, shaking his head in disgust, before the reporter gathered themselves to ask about the Raptors’ mindset of getting back to title contention.
No one would suggest that reporters should have to pander to their subjects, but suggesting the Raptors, who finished with the second most wins in the NBA that season, surprised people by winning a championship would be grating for any athlete, let alone Siakam, who has been pestered for his sub-par performance in the 2019-20 playoffs.
A word to the wise: don’t sleep on the Raptors and their accomplishments. It’s a tired narrative that fans, reporters and players alike are all sick of.
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