Raptors president Ujiri challenges owners to commit to more championship runs

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TAMPA, Fla. — Masai Ujiri is challenging the Toronto Raptors' ownership group to think big.

The team president's future in Toronto is the biggest question looming over the Raptors this off-season.

The 50-year-old Ujiri has said he would wait until the season ended before beginning contract negotiations.

Ujiri said during a 45-minute media availability Wednesday that their 2019 NBA championship is ancient history — he wants Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., to think about what's next.

While it hasn't been determined whether the Raptors can open next season back at Scotiabank Arena, Ujiri, who has returned to Toronto, said he is "very determined" to get the green light from the federal government.

Ujiri said the Raptors were hit hard this season by their move to Tampa, Fla., then a COVID-19 outbreak in March that saw them fall down the Eastern Conference standings.

Ujiri spoke the day after veteran guard Kyle Lowry addressed the media ahead of his impending free agency. The Raptors president said the fact Lowry is 35 years old doesn't impact whether or not the team will re-sign the six-time all-star.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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