Game 7 of the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers tips off in an hour. Before you turn it on, you need to read Patrick Patterson’s piece in The Player’s Tribune.
Patterson discusses his time joining Toronto after being traded from the Sacramento Kings. The Raptors were 7-12 when Patterson arrived and the team lacked identity.
This was a franchise ready to rebuild. From an outsider’s perspective, I understood why. Nobody would have said the Raptors were trending in the right direction, but then they traded away Rudy Gay, who most people figured was their best player. I was part of what they got back.
As you know now, the Raptors made the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Patterson talks about the team’s turning points and how they found their identity over the past couple of years. Patterson credits Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan who took reins of the team, while others figured out their roles to fit the team.
So guys who were used to getting more touches on other teams had to alter their games. It sounds like a simple thing, but the truth is that it’s not easy to get players to take a step back and keep their egos in check at this level. But we bought into this idea that we could have a winning basketball team.
Patrick Patterson and the Toronto Raptors take a lot of pride in being Canada’s only NBA team. Patterson’s favorite part of Toronto is the how diverse the city is.
When I played at Kentucky, I would look out into the stands, and it would be about 70% white. They were all great fans – it’s the best home court in college basketball – but still, that’s what I was accustomed to.
Patterson and the Raptors are trying to show the world that Toronto is the best basketball city in the world. And that all starts tonight in Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers at 8:00 on TNT.