Full media day coverage is available here, and we get set to hear, from the different players, coaches, and personnel from the Toronto Raptors. Also, we will have coverage of the Raptors’ press conference, with their new ambassador, Drake, and the 2016 NBA All-Star game announcement. What exactly will we be hearing today from the different personnel? Rudy Gay‘s first full season, Masai Ujiri‘s arrival and first season as the general manager, Jonas Valanciunas coming into his second year as an improved player, etc. Lots of things to watch out for today.
All-Star TORONTO 2016 Press-Conference
- “I’m the only dumbass that didn’t bring a paper to talk from” – Masai Ujiri
Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner
- “Toronto for that week, will be the absolute capital of the basketball world” – Adam Silver
- “…Tim (Leiweke), the ultimate closer in sports” – Adam Silver
Rob Ford, Mayor
- “I was thrilled to hear, that Toronto is hosting the NBA All-Star game…” – Rob Ford
- “…One of the most anticipated sporting events, in he world” – Rob Ford
- “…First time, the all-star game will be hosted outside of the United States” – Rob Ford
- “…estimated $100 million dollars” – Rob Ford (Wow, absolutely amazing).
- “We promise you the best All-Star game, the best weekend you’ve ever had” – Tim Leiweke
- “New branding. A new image, and new colours. Not a new name, but new branding” – Tim Leiweke
- “We have a unique opportunity in Canada, and Toronto.. To celebrate the city” – Tim Leiweke
- “It feels like I’ve been here 5 years” – Tim Leiweke on how it feels to him – quickly rolling
- “I’m an NBA guy, so I love the Raptors. They’re a high priority” – Tim Leiweke
- “Everything with the Raptors is gonna be positive … We’re finally getting past the tough times” – Tim Leiweke
- “He’s arguably the most famous Canadian artist, today.” – Leiweke on Drake.
- “We had to change the culture of what people thought of us” – Tim Leiweke
- “We get to showcase them our community, our city, our country” – Tim Leiweke
- “I preach the gospel that is Toronto – I love the city with all my heart” – Drake
- “Basketball in Canada is bigger now, than before” – Drake
- “…I’ll try and be here as much as possible” – Drake, on being at the Raptors games.
- “A lot of my friends player here – Amir, DeMar, Rudy” – Drake
- “He’s a good friend of mine, I’ve been supporting him for a very long time” – Drake, on Andrew Wiggins.
- “…Bring a championship to Toronto” – Drake on his influence on bringing significant players to the team.
- The Toronto Raptors to hold the 2016 NBA All-Star game – big get, thanks to much of the work to Tim Leiweke. Announced by NBA Deputy Commissioner, Adam Silver.
- Drake named the Toronto Raptors’ Global Ambassador.
- Week long of All-Star activities in Toronto.
Toronto Raptors 2013-2014 NBA Season Media Day
Part 1 (Dwight Buycks, DJ Augustin, Tyler Hansbrough, Quincy Acy, Terrence Ross, Aaron Gray, Steve Novak, Matt Devlin)
- “Jonas Valanciunas will be a dominant big man in the league… He may be an all-star here in 2016″ – Matt Devlin
- “They’re gonna need others, outside of Steve Novak, to make threes” – Matt Devlin
- “If he can stretch it out, it opens everything up for a Rudy Gay, a DeMar DeRozan” – Matt Devlin
- “It’s gonna be great, first time it’s out here” – Terrence Ross on the All-Star game in Toronto.
- “Oh definitely, I think so” – Terrence Ross on Drake bringing players here.
- “We’re going to make the playoffs” – Terrence Ross
- “Paint-ballin’, go-karting. We had fun throughout the summer” – Terrence Ross on the team togetherness in the Summer.
- “Paint-ballin’… Everybody acting like a tough guy, than running and hiding” – Terrence Ross on the guys paint-balling.
- “We have a lot of talented guys, more than anything a lot of exciting guys” – Steve Novak
- “Understand that definitely what I do is spread the floor, and shoot the 3″ – Steve Novak on his role.
- “Everything we wanna do here, is through the roof” – Aaron Gray
- “It’s all about the talent on the floor, and that’s what gets us winning basketball games” – Aaron Gray
- “I think we just wanna get better everyday, we’ve gotten better the last two years I’ve been here” – Aaron Gray on their expectations.
- “I think last year, he was just finding his way a lot… We have so much more confidence in him, both offensive and defensively” – Aaron Gray on Jonas.
- “It changed a lot. Obviously, the losses of Ed Davis and Jose Calderon hurt us, but adding a talent like Rudy Gay adds confidence… He has an NBA body from his position, that 3 spot” – Aaron Gray on Rudy’s acquisition.
- “Giving up big leads.. Not being able to finish down the stretch” – Aaron Gray on some of the issues last season.
- “Definitely really cool. He’s a real global icon, and I’m blessed to be apart of it… I support him, so ya know, to be around him, it definitely be fun” – Dwight Buycks on Drake as the Global Ambassador.
- “It’s been fun, these guys are great guys. Had a great time with them in Vegas… Building that great relationship with the others” – Dwight Buycks
- “Definitely been a dream for awhile now. I was definitely happy, but it made me more hungry” – Dwight Buycks on being signed to the Toronto Raptors.
- “It was fun to be honest. You hear so much about overseas, good and bad … We got along great over there. It was definitely a good experience for me, it was fun…” – Dwight Buycks on playing in Europe.
- “Just coming out there and bringing that intensity on defense from the start, and finding guys open shots – Just trying to make it easier for the other guys” – Dwight Buycks on his role
- “Is year 2, I’m excited, I’m really excited to see what the season hold.” – Quincy Acy
- “Should be interesting to see what the future holds” – Quincy Acy on Drake as the global ambassador.
- “I’m not gonna be all on that rookie, cause, uh, I didn’t like it” – Quincy Acy on the ‘rookie treatment’.
- “It’s been team initiative. Rudy and DeMar and those guys are putting things together … It’s good for everybody to stay connected” – Quincy Acy on connecting with the team in the Summer.
- “Yeah, uhm, I’ve been here for 3 weeks now, and we’ve practiced hard” – DJ Augustin on working with new teammates.
- “We always went out, and out defense first” – DJ Augustin on Indiana last season.
- “Team looks good man, we have a lot of talent. We have everything to make the playoffs” – DJ Augustin.
- “Defensively, I can add a lot to this team” – Tyler Hansbrough
- “Yeah I can see that, that’s why I wanted a bigger part of the picture … I have to do my part and see what happens” – Tyler Hansbrough on having a more offensie opportunity.
- “I think it’s a crucial part, kinda knowing your role and what’s expected of you, not going out there and overdoing it” – Tyler Hansbrough
- “I’m more of a leader by example. I’m not the most vocal guy in the world … For me, leadership is going to be by what I do on the floor” – Tyler Hansbrough
Part 2 (Kyle Lowry, Austin Daye, Coach Casey)
- “I thought that was a great setting, great for the city… I’m excited to have Drake” – Dwane Casey
- “Winning championship aspiration type team by 2016″ – Dwane Casey on wanting to have a contending team by the All-Star game.
- “The love of the game, is coming to fruition now” – Dwane Casey on the growth of Canada in sports, basketball.
- “We’ve gotta get back to the defensive side… We were to focused on one area.” – Dwane Casey on this team’s focus for the season.
- “No question. And I’m not putting it on any one person. He had his whooping .. He had to learn. But you can see a young man growing” – Dwane Casey on Jonas Valanciunas.
- “I’m not even gonna talk about playoffs. My mentality is to get better.” – Dwane Casey on the expectations.
- “I’m very proud of Kyle. What he did to his body this season, was huge. More important than his play and his numbers, is his positive leadership. I want the tough, hungry point guard” – Dwane Casey on Kyle Lowry’s slimmer physicality.
- “One is defensive field goal percentage, second is points in the paint. Transition defense. We got to get better on rebounding” – Dwane Casey on some specific statistics to focus on this season.
- “Well, I like my money Jeff. I know we are gonna go to him a lot more offensively. He’s gonna be one of our anchors there on the low post, and it’s something that he earns … You get it by kicking somebody’s ass” – Dwane Casey on Valanciunas gaining more respect from officials, and offensive role.
- “I was trying to build a hard-ass, defensive mindset” – Dwane Casey
- “It’s really good, and exciting for the city” – Kyle Lowry on the All-Star game in Toronto.
- “Of course, I think my role is always to be a leader.” – Kyle Lowry
- “I think we can hang our identity on both sides of the ball. I think that’s how talented we are.” -Kyle Lowry
- “Just to be prepared for an 82 game season, even longer. Make sure I’m doing everything to keep pre-caution and stay healthy” – Kyle Lowry
- “No, you prepare to be the best player you can be, and you implement that to the team” – Kyle Lowry on improvements in off-season, to camp.
- “I think we have a great talented team, but we gotta lace em’ up and play 48 minutes, every night” – Kyle Lowry
- “I started off getting injured day 1, it sucked” – Kyle Lowry on being healthier now, compared to last season.
- “I feel great, great, I feel like a million bucks” – Kyle Lowry
- “We have Austin Daye as a 6’10 3 (small forward), look at Rudy who’s a 6’9 3.” Kyle Lowry on the versatility of the team.
- “Break it down, and kick it to him, and see it fall through the net” – Kyle Lowry on Novak.
- “They’re gonna play their games. As long as it helps win games – that’s all that matters to me” – Kyle Lowry
- “Just bring a lot of versatility, be able to handle the ball like a guard, and play the 4″ – Austin Daye on his role.
- “Shoot the ball well, and come in here with confidence” – Austin Daye on what to do to get minutes and spot in rotation.
- “Just try to use my length to my advantage, take a lot of charges, and being able to block a shot” – Austin on defensive abilities.
- “This city has definitely embraced him” – Austin Daye on bringing in Drake.
Part 3 (Landry Fields, Carlos Morais)
- “That’s something that I have been improving. I think I did pretty good” – Carlos Morais on his perimeter shooting.
- “The biggest difference, is the basketball. The NBA Basketball is a little different” – Carlos Morais on the league differences.
- “I can penetrate, and I can take shots too. I’m just starting to be like, my man here, Chris Wright. I can jump, and shoot a little bit” – Carlos Morais
- “I’ve been up for 22,000 hours now” – Landry Fields on being awake – new father.
- “The elbow?! The elbow is coming along. It’s been a process to say the least … Last year, was a very humbling year for me. Overall, healthy, the strength is coming back” – Landry Fields on his injury.
- “I can finally shoot from way out there. It seems that day by day, week by week, it gets that much better” – Landry Fields on gaining the perimeter game back.
- “I even thought about shooting from my left hand, but I was like, nah, I’ll stick with my right” – Landry Fields and his up-and-down thought process after the injury.
- “Kinda understanding each other. We’ve brought in some good pieces, and they compliment our big guns – DeMar, Rudy” – Landry on the new guys and the comfort of going into this season.
- “It really depends on individuals, and what they’re about. These group of guys are really down to earth..” – Landry on the team chemistry.
- “A lot of changes, and that’s why I wear the number and have Toronto on the front, and let coach Casey worry about that” – Landry Fields.
- “His development has been tremendous… He’s only going to get better, and his confidence is going to rise” – Landry Fields.
Part 4 (Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan)
- “It means a lot, we just gotta take advantage of every moment… Just go out there, and gain respect back in this league” – DeMar DeRozan
- “It means so much, just to get out to a good start. You gain a rhythm..” – DeMar DeRozan on hoping for a better start.
- “I feel most comfortable than I’ve ever been shooting the 3″ – DeMar DeRozan on his work this off-season from the perimeter.
- “Fewer excuses. We just gotta take advantage of training camp, take advantage of pre-season, take advantage from game 1, to game 82 – to get better” – DeMar DeRozan
- “Me, myself personally, I’m tired of losing” – DeMar DeRozan
- “You know, it’s sickening to me, I’m tired of going home early. Seeing my friends play, seeing everybody else play” – DeMar DeRozan
- “I understand a lot more than a lot of the younger guys. We all have to be more vocal to be a better team” – DeMar DeRozan
- “Yeah, that’s what I am. I played a lot of basketball since I’ve been here … I have no choice but to be that young veteran for this team” – DeMar DeRozan
- “That’s why I worked so hard in the summer, because I expect to play a lot, and be used a lot” – DeMar DeRozan on coming in with good conditioning.
- “Summer was great. Productive. Very productive” – Rudy Gay
- “No, honestly to be unstoppable, you have to work on everything” – Rudy Gay
- “I think it’s good for the city, good for the fans – Doesn’t matter for us, the players, doesn’t make us work any less” – Rudy Gay on the 2016 All-Star game.
- “No. Honestly, we worked too hard for that. We’re not in the business to come out here and tank” – Rudy Gay
- “I’m healthy, a 100% healthy. Knock on wood. Last year was kinda a whirlwind for me… Now I’m set, I’m content, I’m ready…” – Rudy Gay
- “I’m not gonna sit here, and say I’m gonna play to be an all-star, that’s selfish. I play to make the playoffs” – Rudy Gay
- “Probably about 2 weeks, 1st week I couldn’t see. 2nd week I could see” – Rudy Gay on his eye surgery.
- “No. I’m just kidding, yeah, a lot” – Rudy Gay kidding on having eye improvement after surgery.
- “I gained 20 pounds muscle” – Rudy Gay on core strength.
- “I think we are. For me I like that too, I like people not to expect. I like to stun people” – Rudy Gay on other’s expectations and underestimating them.
Part 5 (Jonas Valanciunas, Masai Ujiri)
- “The timing is perfect for us, we have to have growth for this basketball team, and build the momentum of having an all-star game” – Masai Ujiri
- “I don’t know how you teach winning by losing. I will let that come to us, if it happened where it came to us, than we’re fine with it” – Masai Ujiri on tanking.
- “For me, it doesn’t matter. As long as we show growth in our time. Whichever way it’s going, you show direction, you show growth. We’re not trying to postpone anything, but, we’ll be patient, somethings will come to us, somethings we’ll be aggressive with” – Masai Ujiri on trying to win as soon as 2016.
- “If we have a couple more wins that last year, than I don’t know how much you can measure that as improvement. Do our players get better?” – Masai Ujiri
- “For me, we’re talking about it tonight. Every game we have to come and play. It seems like there’s consistency with having a tough schedule.” – Masai Ujiri on the importance of getting off to a good start.
- “You have to find every way that gets us some kind of advantage. We didn’t have a lot of money to spend… Sometimes, if they didn’t have that struggling season, we didn’t have a chance to get them” – Masai Ujiri on the availability/opportunity of signing Hansbrough, Daye, and Augustin coming off rough seasons.
- “We’ll develop our players. It doesn’t come right away … Sometimes it comes with circumstance” – Masai Ujiri
- “Started from the bottom now we’re here” – Jonas Valanciunas (lol)
- “Now, with Drake, we can represent Toronto … The city” – Jonas Valanciunas
- “After one season in the NBA, I’m looking at the referee… After that, I find out I can realize I can stay in defense as long as I want” – Jonas Valanciunas
- “I was in Summer League, so that’s my experience… That was a really good experience” – Jonas Valanciunas
- “I’m feeling stronger. We will see on the court, I don’t like to talk before the things” – Jonas Valanciunas
- “I’m taking the class, I’m taking the course to get better everyday” – Jonas Valanciunas on his English.
- “Going to Summer League, than coming back to the National team…” – Jonas Valanciunas on his off-season highlights.
- “Still, I need to work on my defense. Need to stay with the big guys” – Jonas Valanciunas
- “I’m trying to be the greatest centre in this league …” – Jonas Valanciunas
Just some interesting things said by the personnel of the Toronto Raptors, hearing some perspective of Rudy Gay, Landry Fields’ busy summer, DeMar’s off-season workouts, Dwight Buycks and his view after getting signed, Lowry losing weight and slimming down, etc. This was one of the more calm, more tempered media days in a while in terms of expectations, which could pose a positive for the Raptors this season. Regardless, after watching this, it’s hard not to get excited.