Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet was in the midst of a career season, and is one of the main reasons why the team has all but secured themselves second place in the Eastern Conference with a 46-18 record. But then COVID-19 happened, and that changed the entire landscape of not only the NBA, but the world we live in.
Prior to the league pause, the 26-year old was averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds (all of which are career-highs). To put those numbers into perspective, he is doing this during the final season of his current contract, which in all likelihood would’ve set him up for a big payday this summer.
So you got to think this coronavirus pandemic has gotten to him on a personal level, it not only impacted his team’s chances as repeating as champions but it might also affect the amount of money he could get in the open market. He admits that it is in the back of his mind, but is definitely more concerned about the well-being of his family and the people that are being impacted worldwide.
“I’m not one of those guys that tries to like give a vanilla answer. Yeah, I think about (free agency)…I’m human. I felt like I worked myself into a good position, I was having a helluva year and I was planning on having a great playoffs to cap that off.” said VanVleet.
“People’s health and well being and frame of mind is a lot more important than a couple million here or there, because we’re all filthy rich compared to what we came from in the first place, so I don’t think anybody’s crying over it”
As for when the season will continue, the Raptors guard certainly has his doubts. While the rest of the basketball world remains optimistic, he struggles to see how everything will be safe enough or organized in a way that will allow the league to confidently resume in the summer.
“If we’re saying the timeline matters, we’re saying all these certain things and you’re looking around the world at what’s going on with the virus itself, if our league is going to be a leader in terms of public health and player safety, you’ve gotta follow the guidelines of what the virus is speaking to you…So the odds are probably against us in terms of that.” added VanVleet.
The league is in discussions to possibly start up in July, and play in neutral sites to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Jimmy Butler has chance to send Heat to Finals, can’t deliver after clanking wide open three off front of rim
The Miami Heat were so close to competing the comeback and heading off the NBA Finals.
They were down by two and had possession with less than 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Instead of managing the clock and waiting as long as possible to get a shot off, Butler tried to take advantage of having a wide open shot and fired off a transition three with no defenders around him with still 17 seconds left. Unfortunately for the Heat, Butler simply didn’t get enough lift into the shot and clanked it off the front of the rim.
By the end of it all, Celtics won by four and find themselves off to the next round while the Heat are forced to reminisce over what went wrong.
Did Jimmy make the right decision? Watch the video below and let us know what you think!
Raptors forward Pascal Siakam selected to All-NBA third team
Pascal Siakam accomplished something that not a lot of players that failed to make the All-Star team can do.
The Toronto Raptors forward was officially selected to the 2022 edition of the All-NBA third team after receiving 42 third-team votes and seven second-team votes.
The 28-year old played exceptional on both ends of the floor, and bounced back after a rough pandemic-shortened campaign in Tampa Bay. He averaged 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists through 68 games in 2021/22.
Siakam is just the third player in franchise history to receive the honour (Vince Carter, DeMar DeRozan). It marks the second time in his career he was selected to an All-NBA team. He was previously selected to an All-NBA second team after an impressive All-Star season in 2019/2020.
Award-winning rapper J. Cole will be playing basketball in Canada this summer
J-Cole wants to prove to everybody that he is more than just a rapper. He is also an aspiring basketball player and will get to play professionally north of the border.
The Grammy-winning artist has reportedly signed a contract to play for Canadian basketball team Scarborough Shooting Stars of the
Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).
The 37-year old previously played basketball in Africa last May with
Patriots Basketball Club of the Basketball Africa League, but left after just three games due to “family obligations”.
The Shooting Stars will open their season against the Guelph Nighthawks on May 26.