For me at that point when I started becoming that person, I just felt like there wasn’t that much level of communication, to be honest. And that was the only thing really that I felt. It was like, “We got you the max contract, but are you the guy?” I think that’s something that I was struggling with.
What do you mean by that?
Obviously, Kyle was there, being a point guard. Kyle was, to me, always the greatest Raptor of all time. I think he was always like, “I was the guy.” I had the contract, but I never really felt like I was the guy, to be honest.
You wanted them to say, “You know, here’s the max contract. You’re the guy. You’re the centerpiece that’s going to take us to the repeat championship.”
Yeah. I never really felt like there was that. And I think those conversations are happening now.
Trade rumors are part of the business. But there must be a part of you after this season that said, “Whoa, I won a championship for you guys. I became an All-Star.” Is there a human side of you that is like, “Man, that’s messed up?”
Yeah. I think it is. Definitely. And I think it’s something that I’ll probably definitely struggle with. You know? And I think even just like the negativity about my name. For me, it was weird. Because I’m like, “Damn.” I’m such a positive person, the people that know me. People see my story, understand where I come from and all the things that I’ve been able to achieve so far in my career. It has always been about positivity, right? It’s always like good things. “How can you hate this person”-type of thing.
Coming to Toronto, I always felt like it was a perfect mix. Me and Toronto was always perfect because, OK, I’m international, I love the diversity about being in Toronto. I understand being an underdog. Toronto always feels like it’s that underrated type of city. The people always feel like they never get respect from the general American media.