Title: Raptors 905 boosts CanCon: If everything’s equal ‘I’m going with the Canadian’
Date: October 26, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about Raptors 905 putting a continued emphasis on their unofficial relationship with Canada Basketball and basketball in the city of Toronto, which reaches all throughout the organization.
Myck Kabongo is bouncing around, a wide smile greeting nearly everyone he passes at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. Toronto Raptors’ two-way player Chris Boucher walks by and Kabongo immediately switches to French to greet the near 7-footer. He stops mid-sentence to greet Duane Watson, a fixture of the Toronto basketball community, with a familiar handshake. Jordan Loyd gets briefly razzed about the 30 points Kabongo dropped on him back in high school. There’s a more cordial exchange with a smiling Jama Mahlalela, as they have gone to the same church for over a decade. Kabongo seems to know every staffer already, and he’s already doling out invites to try his mother’s cooking because “she throws down.”
It is media day for Raptors 905, an understated affair relative to its NBA counterpart, and Kabongo looks the part of returning star. He’s the type of affable fit with an I remember that guy name for more casual fans that the 905 would love to have around. Were this a franchise that operated with those things foremost in mind, Kabongo would be a no-brainer for the 2018-19 version of the roster, and he already seems right at home in Mississauga, a modest trek from his actual home in the Danforth area.
He is neither a returner nor star nor no-brainer, though. Kabongo is heading to 905 training camp as a local tryout player, hoping only to make the team.