The Toronto Raptors announced that president Masai Ujiri will be remaining with the organization after reaching an agreement on a new contract.
Ujiri will continue to be the top decision maker for the Raptors, while also being elevated to vice-chairman of the team behind chairman Larry Tanenbaum, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The deal is said to be significant, and that Ujiri was courted by professional teams outside of the NBA before deciding to remain in Toronto.
I've said it before, and I am saying it again.
We will win in Toronto.
- Masai pic.twitter.com/KJ64UwjZPo
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 5, 2021
"There's a lot more work to be done. On the court, our goal is clear: win. It's simple. Win. Bring another championship to Toronto. We are united in that mission and nothing else will do. We will bring young talent to this city, and continue to build our unbelievable players. I said it before and I'm saying it again: We will win in Toronto," Ujiri said in a narration video of his announcement.
The 51-year-old Ujiri had just completed his previous deal, and there was heavy speculation that he would draw attention from other NBA teams and sports franchises beyond basketball. Ujiri won Executive of the Year in 2013 in Denver, and was the architect of the 2019 champions, which was the first team in history to win it all without a single lottery pick. Ujiri reached the pinnacle of his career after starting as an unpaid scout scouring Europe and Africa while sleeping on his friends' couches. With every option before him, he chose Toronto.
Ujiri also stressed the importance and his dedication to improving conditions in Africa, which is his other lifelong passion. His foundation Giants of Africa has grown to cover 17 countries, and Ujiri was also involved in the development of the Basketball Africa League, which just recently brought on former U.S. President Barack Obama as a partner. Ujiri will be able to split his time between managing the Raptors and his philanthropic work, which was always his condition to signing.
"I love being the leader of the Toronto Raptors, and I'm here to stay."
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