Raptors’ Fred VanVleet says ‘if that’s what being a Canadian means, I don’t want it’ on losing a tooth
The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, completing a two-game road sweep against the defending champions by besting the Warriors in Oracle Arena – in what might be the last game ever played in the storied building. Fred VanVleet was part of that effort.
The Raptors continued their dominant run against Golden State on the back of suffocating defense and the exploits of superstar Kawhi Leonard – facts that were not lost on basketball luminary Magic Johnson.
Leonard poured in game-highs of 36 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals, all while radiating confidence as his team clawed back from a first quarter deficit in which the team was getting wide-open looks from the perimeter but could just not deliver on those shots.
Despite that, the team bounced back and saw tremendous performances all over the roster. Beyond Leonard, Pascal Siakam played 41 minutes and scored 19 points. Marc Gasol had 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
However, perhaps the most impressive performance came from beloved backup point guard Fred VanVleet. VanVleet has played amazing defense on Stephen Curry all series (even though Steph went off for 47 points in Game 3.
In Game 4, VanVleet was playing well until he got brutally clocked (inadvertently) from a Shaun Livingston elbow to the face in the second half that saw him leave the game – an injury that required seven stitches.
On the hit, VanVleet got his front tooth chipped, and had an amusing response to the “new look:”
Does VanVleet feel more Canadian now that he's chipped a tooth? "No, I don't. If that's what being a Canadian means I'm not sure I want it. I don't play hockey. I got a lot of respect for those guys and what they do, but losing a tooth is not fun."
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) June 8, 2019
As you can see, VanVleet is not a fan of the “hockey smile,” so let’s hope the sturdy guard can be back out there for what could be a closeout Game 5.