Title: The lighter side of Raptors media day: Kawhi’s laugh, terrible trade ideas and Ibaka’s cooking
Date: September 24, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the lighter side of an otherwise serious Toronto Raptors media day.
Media Day is one of the strangest on the NBA calendar. With the standard back-to-school vibe and an odd mix of tasks to accomplish – serious poses for promotional materials, goofy stuff for team social media accounts, and the fairly standard blend of “what were you working on” scrum questions – it can sometimes skew a bit all over the place.
For the Toronto Raptors, this year’s proceedings were obviously going to be very serious in at least one respect. Kawhi Leonard was introduced, and as Eric Koreen outlined, there are tea leaves everywhere. New head coach Nick Nurse also refreshed those in attendance on a lot of the points he’s been driving home since getting the job, and Raptors president Masai Ujiri grew defiant at one point that Toronto, as a basketball city and a destination in general, should have grown beyond the outdated yet persistent inferiority complex as it relates to its NBA stature. It was a great statement and an important sentiment, and it’s probably not a coincidence that he chose a moment where Leonard was sitting directly to his right to make his point.
There was also a lot of the lighter side, too. The rest of this week is probably going to tilt toward the serious side – camp battles, what the offence could look like, what the Vancouver climate has done to Eric’s hair – and so to wrap up what was a pretty fun media day, I wanted to provide some quick levity. It’s been a day people have been anticipating for months, and now that it’s over and everything went about as smoothly as possible, let’s exhale.