News of Toronto Raptors superstar Pascal Siakam getting traded to the Indiana Pacers took the city by surprise. (Courtesy: Pascal Siakam plays during an NBA basketball game. (Courtesy: Canadian Press!)
Former Toronto Raptors Pascal Siakam got real with fans and supporters in an open letter on Friday.
This comes after news of the player getting traded to the Indiana Pacers took the city by surprise.
And according to the letter, written in The Players’ Tribune, Siakam also didn’t see it coming.
“Toronto is just all I’ve known — and all I’ve wanted to know. I never asked for a trade. Maybe this sounds naive, but I felt I could be one of those dudes who spends his whole career on one team,” he wrote.
Siakam goes on to say that even with rumours swirling around he wasn’t concerned that he would be traded, given he helped the Raptors win their first NBA title.
“So eventually I’ll help them win their second. I always took that as a given, you know? I took a lot of pride in being that guy who’s connecting the past and the future here, and keeping it all as one era. But I also realize it’s a business … and it’s their right to decide when it’s time for an era to end,” he continued.
Despite how things went down, one thing is clear: Toronto is Siakam’s home, forever.
In fact, Siakam says he planted roots in the city at a time when he was going through a lot with his dad’s passing, and his inability to attend his funeral in Cameroon due to a visa situation.
“When I got to the league, there was a lot I was going through, and I had this feeling of wanting badly to belong somewhere.”
And make no mistake, the unwavering love Siakam has for the True North is mutual.
So much so that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared some kind words with the player after hearing the news.
“It’s sad to see one of my favourite Raptors go, but we’re grateful for what you’ve done for the team, for the fans, and for the sport. Best of luck, Spicy P,” he tweeted on Thursday.
The player’s departure has also upset people once in his most trusted circle, including Raptors president Masai Ujiri who held back tears during a press conference on Thursday.
Toronto Raptors player Scottie Barnes also took the time to show his respects.
“I love him as a brother. It hurts but you know you gotta keep moving on, you gotta keep fighting,” he said.