Title: RAPTORS ROOKIE PASCAL SIAKAM HAS BEEN THROWN INTO THE FIRE, AND SURVIVED
Date: November 8, 2016
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: For my latest at Vice Canada, I wrote about Pascal Siakam’s trial-by-fire to start his rookie season.
Pascal Siakam had all of 15 minutes of Las Vegas Summer League action under his belt when he went face-to-face with Kevin Durant. This was the first game that anyone, anywhere, stood opposite the former MVP in a Golden State Warriors uniform. And here was Siakam, the 22-year-old late first-round pick, tasked with stopping perhaps the second-best player on the planet in his first NBA preseason game. Durant caught the ball above the right elbow, drove to his left, and was met at the rim by the rookie, who stayed with him the entire way and turned the shot away off the backboard.
As far as early tests go, Siakam aced this one. It also served as a nice, quick affirmation of what got him to this point.
“From Vancouver, the first game, I was all nervous. It was the first time you out there on the court, you know,” he recalls. “As a rookie, every possession that you make on the court as a young guy is a comment. It’s not like you have all the time—every possession is important, and when you make a play like that it helps you out. It just gives you the confidence to keep going and keep playing the way you playing. It means that you’re doing something right, and that always helps.”