Ojibwa Casino - Open 24 Hours a Day with Two Gaming Destinations: Baraga and Marquette
Fox Sports Marquette
FoxSportsMarquette.com - All Sports, All the Time - 105.1fm

Masai Ujiri on Toronto fans: ‘They’re everywhere’

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri says he’s never seen a fan base like Toronto’s and told The Jim Rome Show their ‘We The North’ attitude is spreading league wide.

“They’re traveling to other gyms, the game in LA when we played the Clippers in December, and I was surprised they’re in Detroit, in Cleveland, they’re everywhere,” Ujiri, said of their fans. “I’m proud of it, and they support the team and we want to continue to grow and build that fan base.”

Ujiri views their location as an advantage, not a disadvantage.

“We can’t keep crying that Toronto is an outcast or is the team outside the country,” said Ujiri. “We want to compete, we’re in the NBA, and we’re blessed to be the only NBA team outside the United States. It is a blessing and our fans are amazing.”

The perception of the Raptors organization not being able to compete with other NBA teams or desired locations because the weather of Toronto, Ujiri says has changed too.

“I think the players see it, I think people see it,” Ujiri said. “It’s cold in Chicago, it’s cold in New York, its cold in all different places, they’ve won. There’s taxes in different places. I think the perception is all in our thoughts and minds, but in reality it is an NBA team. It is one of the best cities in the world in terms of people, in terms of living, in terms of life style, and in terms of sports. With all the sports in that city with the Blue Jays, and the Leafs and the Raptors, we’re lucky to be the only basketball team. One basketball team in one country, how many is there, 5 million people supporting one team, that’s a blessing in my opinion and we have to use it rather than focus on the things that make it negative.”

Not having a player from Canada on their roster is something Ujiri says the Raptors are paying attention too and may change someday with the way the younger players in the country are developing.

“I think we will continue to scout the players, but nothing that is an immediate concern right now,” says Ujiri. “We’re going to scout the talent and it has to be the right fit and the right talent and I think with the emergence of Canadian basketball players I think it’s going to come eventually.”

  • Masai Ujiri
  • Mar 12th 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × one =