Masai Ujiri, the Toronto Raptors’ general manager, has made himself a fan-favorite for his clever front-office maneuvering and unapologetically outspoken nature.
Ujiri continues to speak from the heart, regardless of the consequences.
The GM, a keynote speaker at Monday night’s Canadian Basketball Speakers Forum, discussed his strong desire to lure a Canadian player to the Raptors — rookie sensation and self-proclaimed Raptors fan Andrew Wiggins, anyone?
Per the Canadian Press:
When asked if there was anything he’d done that he’d like to take back, Ujiri joked about his “F-Brooklyn” outburst, saying: “Trust me, I ain’t taking that back. I hope we play (the Nets) again, and I’ll say it again.” […] The comment prompted cheers from the crowd at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, host of the CIS Final 8 tournament.
“There is no doubt in my mind … during my time, even if my time is short, there will be a Canadian playing for the Toronto Raptors, 100 per cent. I have no doubt in my mind, it’s something we think about every day, it’s something we study … the guys in the NBA, the ones outside the NBA, the younger kids, the kids in college, the kids playing overseas. We’re just waiting for that one to come.” […] Ujiri said having a Canadian on the Raptors is “an obligation we have to fulfil. We’re a Canadian team and I think to have Canadian players I think would be phenomenal.”
When asked if there was one player he’d love to see in Toronto – and taking LeBron James off the table – Ujiri left little doubt that it’s Wiggins, the budding superstar from Vaughan, Ont. […] “We all know who he is, I’m not even going to say his name,” Ujiri said – more cheers from the crowd. […] In case there was any doubt, he added: “He might be Canadian.”