Toronto Raptors: End-Of-Season News Conferences

Sunday afternoon I had tickets to a Hot Docs movie at 4PM. I knew that the Toronto Raptors vs Brooklyn Nets Game 7 Match-up might go beyond the 3HRs that basketball games typically take to be played. So at 3:45PM, I was sitting in my car, listening to the radio, waiting to know how things would end. Loss…Win…Overtime?

Terrence Ross intercepts a Brooklyn Nets inbound pass. YES! o.o62 seconds left in the game and Raptors have the ball for, what will probably be, the games final play. 104-103 Nets, and we have the ball! Let’s do this. Let’s make this basket and move on to Round 2.

The Raptors set-it-up, Kyle Lowry was gonna make the final shot and…it just didn’t happen. The shot was blocked. Game over. Season over. Heartbreak. I’m still heartbroken. What a season. What a series. So proud of the Raptors team. And I LOVE Coach Dwayne Casey. He is an amazing coach, with a great group of players that have incredible potential individually, as well as together.

Over the last few days there have been two Toronto Raptors press conferences: Monday, May 5th was with select players, and today, Tuesday, May 6 was with Coach Casey and GM Ujiri.

The Toronto Star has recaps of both that can be viewed here: PLAYERS and GM/COACH.
Here are a few standout comments (all quotes courtesy of CurtisGRush of the Toronto Star):

“Greivis Vasquez went to restaurant last night and owner showed so much sympathy. ‘He was hurt and he wasn’t even playing’…Greivis Vasquez says he had to console owner of restaurant last night after the game. He couldn’t believe passion he showed…Greivis Vasquez says he’s committed to this franchise. ‘It was a very special year’…Greivis Vasquez says Masai going to get things done and bring everybody back. ‘We can dominate the East.’ Not saying in arrogant way”.

“Amir Johnson says some of us may not be as flashy as Vince Carter, but it’s hard to get a group that plays for each other like this…Amir Johnson says you hate to see the season is over. Wants to see how far ‘we can take this’…Amir Johnson says team was pretty solid. ‘We were a young team trying to figure out everything'”.

“Dwayne Casey says no one expected this group of guys to accomplish what they did…At Washington after the all-star break, players signed document committing to team and process and leaving egos at door…Dwane Casey says ‘we’re not finished. We want to and expect to get to the playoffs. Minimum’.”

“Masai says players understand there will be hard times ahead. The taste in his mouth is bitter, but players will come back hungry…Masai says there’s no risk in overvaluing team. ‘We’re going to go through hard times. I’m going to announce it here’…Masai’s message to free agents: If you don’t want to come here, we will look elsewhere”.