Pascal Siakam claps back at reporter for calling Raptors’ 2019 title ‘surprising’
Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam spoke to the media on Thursday, and he evidently did not agree with a reporter’s assessment of the Raptors’ 2019 NBA championship.
Siakam instantly called out the phrasing of an out-of-town reporter who referred to the 2019 title run as “surprising.” The reporter defensively backed off the label.
Here’s a transcript of the back-and-forth (h/t Yahoo Sports):
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 favorites, that’s all.
Siakam seemed to be legitimately irked by the perceived disrespect, as he shook his head in apparent disgust.
You can see the clip here:
Of course, Toronto did surprise much of the basketball world with their victory over the heavily favored (and eventually injury-depleted) Golden State Warriors.
Toronto will be looking to get back into championship contention in 2020-21, following the team’s second-round playoff loss to the Boston Celtics in the bubble. The Raptors will have to do so without two key big men in Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, though the team brought in Aron Baynes and Alex Len to help make up for those losses.
Siakam led the Raptors in scoring with a career-high 22.9 points per game last season and was named to his first All-NBA team. However, his ability to be a go-to scorer at the end of playoff games — an issue during the regular season, too — reared its head in the bubble.
If Siakam can become an elite shot creator in the clutch, nobody will be surprised by a 2020-21 Raptors title.