Photo Credit: Pascal Siakam/Youtube
The Raptors will finally return to Scotiabank Arena and their home city of Toronto for the 2021-2022 NBA season.
The last time the Raptors played a home game in Toronto was back on Feb. 28th, 2020, and only four players remain from that same roster. Those four players are some of the unquestioned leaders of the team heading into the season; Chris Boucher, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam.
Pascal Siakam is feeling like himself again
The one player who seems the most excited to be back in the city is Siakam, whose game has taken a hit since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Siakam of course had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in June and is not expected to be ready for the season opener. Siakam is trending in the right direction in his rehab process, but the most encouraging news about Siakam is just the simple fact that he seems to be in good spirits while getting comfortable being back in the city of Toronto.
Siakam recently posted a video produced by Red Bull which details his journey to Toronto and what it feels like for him to be back, “I just feel I’m in a real good place mentally … I’m just happy and for me that’s the most important,” Siakam says.
The boys are back in town
Outside of Siakam, several team members have expressed the joy of being back in the city. During NBA Media Day today, Head coach Nick Nurse said he left a suit in his office at Scotiabank Arena.
The majority of the team is of course made up of new faces that have never played for the Raptors in Toronto. Of all the new faces on the team, rookie Scottie Barnes seems the most excited to be in playing and exploring in his new city. Gary Trent Jr. called Toronto a “mini New York” and players like Goran Dragic are just getting acquainted with the city after arriving here just a couple of weeks ago.
Doesn’t matter whether they are new or returning players on the team, everyone is sure to get a warm welcome for the home crowd right from opening night on October 20th. Ontario recently passed new laws expanding the indoor capacity for Scotiabank arena to nearly 10,000 people, and it’s sure to bring a huge morale boost for a team that deserves a warm welcome home.