Fred VanVleet Says Raptors Have Moved on, Ready to Defend NBA Title
Kawhi Leonard has moved on and so too have the Toronto Raptors.
On the day the 2019 NBA Finals MVP was introduced to his new team in Los Angeles, backup point guard Fred VanVleet stated that the Raptors are focused on defending their championship, not Leonard’s free agency decision.
“Typical. Typical media stuff. We’ve dealt with it before,” said VanVleet on Wednesday. “I don’t think any of us felt like we were darlings of the world just because we won a championship.
“Everybody’s seen both sides of it. You win a championship, everybody praises you and pats you on the back and then Kawhi leaves and it’s right back to ground zero where we were before so we’ll just stay even-keeled, stay hungry, and get back to work.”
VanVleet attended a Raptors Basketball Academy camp earlier today at Humber College and spoke to the media on what the upcoming season could look like for the reigning champions. One thing that VanVleet insisted was that one player does not change the DNA of a champion and the Raptors are hungry to get going in just a couple short months.
“We’re hungry. We’re hungry again,” VanVleet said. “Obviously, it was a great run, we had a good time. We won a ring. But your career doesn’t stop because you win a championship. We’re all hungry and thirsty to get back to the Finals.”
After a slow start to the 2019 postseason, VanVleet turned his entire playoffs around, becoming an unsung hero of the Raptors championship run.