Pascal Siakam nabs starting spot in NBA all-star game : 'I've always believed in myself'
Pascal Siakam wrote another page in his stunning NBA story on Thursday when he was named a starter for the Eastern Conference team for this year's NBA all-star game .
January 24, 2020 Siakam's selection Thursday marked the sixth consecutive year the Raptors have an all-star starter. They're the only NBA team during that time span that can say that. Leonard started last season. Kyle Lowry started in 2015 and 2016, while DeMar DeRozan started in 2017 and 2018. "The kid that two years ago started the season as our 11th man and he played in the D League the year before that. That's a hell of a rise up," said Raptors coach Nick Nurse. "I think again credit to just our organization in general. Picks, scouting, player development, the whole thing. I think all those things kind of work together to make that possible." Siakam took an unorthodox path to the NBA. He'd only played two seasons of organized basketball before he arrived, a scrawny kid from Douala, Cameroon at New Mexico State. Paul Weir was an Aggies' assistant coach when Siakam was there, and recounted how he walked into his office one day and asked to borrow a book on basketball. "I'd give him a 300-page, 400-page textbook on basketball," the Mississauga, Ont., native told The Canadian Press during the Raptors' championship run. "He'd come back two days later and say 'Do you have another one?' He was just a very eager kid to be the best he could be." Siakam was drafted 27th overall by Toronto in 2016. Nurse tells the story of the sponge-of-a-player showing up at the Raptors' practice facility the day after Toronto was swept by Cleveland in the 2018 conference semifinals. "He said 'Listen, I need to learn how to shoot,"' Nurse said. "We literally walked him down to square one, three feet from the basket and tried to explain the process ΓÇª It's not easy for anybody to change their mechanics, their form or whatever. He just took that as wholeheartedly as he could take it at that stage." Siakam's hard work paid off -- he won the NBA's most improved player award last season. Gasol was happy his first impression of Siakam was so wrong. "He's a guy that can do so many things on the floor, a guy that can impact the game on the defensive end like very few can," the Spaniard said. "And then offensively he can go left, he can go right, he can push you up, he can play you off the dribble, he can play mid-post, he can play pretty much 20 feet from the basket. "And then he's very unselfish at the same time. So, you see all the potential, and then I think coach gave him the freedom and the ultra green light and trusted him with a lot of actions in different positions on the floor. And he responded awesomely." If others doubted Siakam during the early days, he never counted himself out. Did he ever think he'd be an all-star? Sure, why not? "I've always believed in myself and I've always put the work in to get to not only be an all-star but be an all-star for a long time. That's my goal," said Siakam. "I think about these things and I feel like I have the ability to do it. "It's on me to go out there every single night and make sure that I'm the best player I can be and continue to work hard and not be complacent and do everything in my power to get out there." NBA all-star weekend is Feb. 14-16 in Chicago. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2020. Related Stories Read more: CTV News
Raptors' Pascal Siakam honoured if he makes first NBA all-star game - Sportsnet.ca Pascal Siakam could become an NBA all-star for the first time on Thursday, and he couldn't be more honoured.
Raptors' Pascal Siakam named a starter in his first-ever NBA all-star game - Sportsnet.caToronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has been named a starter in his first-ever all-star game . Raptors So well deserved Raptors Yes pskills43 !! Raptors
Pascal Siakam envisioned the moment of being named an NBA All-Star - Sportsnet.ca Raptors Forward Pascal Siakam went 1-on-1 with Eric Smith after being announced as an NBA All-Star starter for the first time in his career, touched on how he has envisioned this moment and journey, when he first fell in love with basketball and what his Dad would say seeing their family name on people's backs.
Raptors' Pascal Siakam continues improbable rise as All-Star starter - Sportsnet.ca Pascal Siakam picked up basketball in his teens. He was an NBA nobody when he entered the league on the Raptors ' bench, and now he's become an All-Star game starter. They simply don’t make stories like that very often. By michaelgrange l WeTheNorth michaelgrange Raptors OMG is he wearing a wire? Raptors michaelgrange Well deserved but he should’ve been a all star last year as well.
Zion Williamson scores 17 straight points for Pelicans in NBA debut - Sportsnet.caWatch as 1st overall pick Zion Williamson scores 17 straight points in a variety of ways for the New Orleans Pelicans in his NBA debut.
Zion Williamson's late surge in NBA debut not enough for Pelicans - Sportsnet.caZion Williamson capped his long-awaited NBA debut by scoring 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and stirring the crowd into a frenzy, only to see his team come up short. Rail shutdown restricts supply lines to Maritimes, creating some empty shelves ‘Critical’ propane shortage in Quebec forces companies to ration supplies 'Barricades must now come down,' PM Trudeau says of rail blockades MacKay calls Edmonton counter-protesters 'Good Samaritans' Intelligence officials say Russia is interfering with 2020 election to help Trump: NYT 61% of Canadians oppose Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades, 75% back action to help Indigenous people: poll U.S. intel officials warn lawmakers Russia is helping Trump win 2020 election: sources