Raptors guard Jeff Dowtin Jr. discusses why he hasn't been able to land a standard NBA contract so far in his basketball journey. Listen to the full segment on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed or watch on our YouTube.
- In your IG bio, it says, "Be different." What does that mean to you?
JEFF DOWTIN JR: For me, my journey, just me becoming the baseball player that I am today, everything wasn't always easy for me. Everything was always different, a different path, different outlook. The way I had to do things was different from everybody else. So that's kind of been my motto throughout my life, just be different. Don't really worry about everybody else and focus on them. Focus on yourself.
- And also with your IG bio, I mean, some of these-- like, you don't post too much, but sometimes when you do post, it's a very profound message. This one from 2021, sadly-- it's this one. "Sadly, hard work doesn't equal success. Hard work equals properly being prepared for the opportunity. Master your craft and have patience." That's kind of-- that's still evident right now too, that you're kind of in that phase.
JEFF DOWTIN JR: You know it, definitely. I think a lot of people just think just because you're working hard, countless hours in the gym, that you're just automatically supposed to receive the fruits of their labor. And it sometimes just doesn't go like that. It's a million people in the world that work hard. But at the end of the day, it's going to prepare you for that opportunity, so when those chances do come, you don't have to not be prepared. You've been doing this for a long time. Now you're prepared. So when the opportunity comes and you're stepping up to the plate, you know you're ready to go, and you won't have any regrets.
- Does your confidence ever waver in that?
JEFF DOWTIN JR: Not at all. Like I said, I've been--
- Good for you, man.
JEFF DOWTIN JR: I've been doing this for a long time, man, just playing basketball at the end of the day. I'm so focused and so locked in on myself, I know what I'm capable of doing. And that just goes from just hard work and just being in the gym 24/7.
- All right, I've got to address the elephant in the room here. So why don't you think you've ended up on an NBA roster, like a long term NBA contract? Why do you think that hasn't happened? Because I've mentioned it right from the get go. I'm like, these are the talents you have. Has there been a career arc where when you entered the NBA or you left college, you didn't have certain skills, but now you have them? Or is it just really opportunity-based? Because I got a podcast with CJ Miles. And even last week, he was like, this guy belongs in the NBA.
JEFF DOWTIN JR: Well, yeah, it's definitely opportunity-based at the end of the day. I feel like this whole league is just based on guys just getting chances and making the most of those opportunities. So me just, like you said, just me just being different and just understanding my journey and my growth, just opportunities arise, just take them by force. And just kind of execute those opportunities.