Pascal Siakam Thanks Raptors Fans In Players Tribune Message: 'I'm Toronto Forever'

"Maybe this sounds naive, but I felt I could be one of those dudes who spends his whole career on one team," Siakam said in his Players Tribune article.

(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images)

Pascal Siakam says he thought he could help the Toronto Raptors win a second championship in a new Players Tribune article called Toronto Forever.

Instead, Siakam was dealt from the only professional team he's ever played for to the Indiana Pacers for forwards Bruce Brown and Jordan Nwora, guard Kira Lewis, two 2024 first-round picks, and a 2026 first-round pick.

"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," Siakam says in his message to fans.

"Like: I 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?"

Siakam was the second last member of the 2019 championship winning team still on the roster, leaving Chris Boucher as the last man standing in Toronto.

He went on to call Toronto home, saying he was welcomed with open arms from the moment he arrived.

"Toronto made me feel like I belonged from day one. I loved the diversity—I’d go out and I’d see Cameroonians, Ghanaians, Mexicans, Koreans, Jamaicans, Europeans, just all types of people from all types of communities. It made me feel comfortable. I remember during my rookie year, me and my brother, we’d go to all these amazing African restaurants and eat the food we loved from back home."

He also shouted out the team for being a "tight knit group," specifically mentioning Jakob Poetl, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, and Delon Wright.

After thanking the fans for embracing the Raptors wholeheartedly, he went to say his PS43 Foundation will remain in Toronto. But he also lamented how over time, we might see less number 43 jerseys in the crowd at home games.

"I do hope maybe I spot one," he says of future visits to Scotiabank Arena. "And I’ll still give it a YESSSS!!! on the inside. It’ll still mean a lot to me. Because it’s still a Toronto thing."

Here’s the full three minute answer of #Raptors president Masai Ujiri being asked if it would benefit him to be colder in terms of management.

“Colder than I am now? I mean, goddamn.”

Touched on DeRozan trade, losing VanVleet, firing Casey & Nurse:

— Adam Laskaris (@adam_la2karis) January 18, 2024
Twitter: @adam_la2karis

The move was a tough one to make for Raptors President Masai Ujiri, who explained in an emotional press conference that because both hail from Africa.

"I say to you guys," Ujiri said. "That guy's success is my success no matter where he is."

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