August is where sports go to die. Sometimes, in the endless amount of time I spend on Twitter searching for something worth talking about, my pursuit is fruitful. And so it was when we found James Herbert's excellent interview with the Patman himself.
Patrick Patterson was an essential part of the Raptors success this past season. His on-court impact was never more tangible than when we watched Toronto sputter and struggle through a good chunk of games in his absence. As the only true stretch big man the Raptors had (you're invisible to me, Austin Daye), most Raptors fans felt it was imperative to bring him back on a long term deal.
After being rewarded with a well-deserved three year, $18 million contract, Patterson checked in with James Herbert about his decision to come back to the Raptors and what he's been up to so far this summer.
When asked why he felt the decision to come back was easy, Patterson's answer echoed the sentiments of both other Raptors free agents, Greivis Vasquez and Kyle Lowry.
Overall, being comfortable with the situation and the role I was in. Being around a great group of guys, tremendous organization and coaching staff and fans.
...it came down to overall me being comfortable, and the relationship that I had built with Masai during my time there was strong and a good one. We found a good number and we talked about the future and what it feels like Toronto is going to do in the next couple of years, the steps and strides that we've made forward in the right direction as far as coming together as a team and building something there that we can, in the future, appreciate more, and hopefully win a lot more and get a lot farther
When is the last time the Raptors have almost unanimously been regarded as a "tremendous organization". While I think it's important to temper expectations of Masai Ujiri and the front office, the perception of the organization even within the locker room has taken a complete 180 degree turn.
Patterson was then asked how motivated the team was to build on last season's results come training camp.
As soon as we get back to Toronto in September, we're going to hold each other to another level. We have high expectations for ourselves individually and for this team this upcoming year.
Yeah, we made it to the playoffs, we won the division, we did all these things that Toronto hasn't done in some years, but we felt like we should've done more, we could've done more and that taste in our mouth will continue to stay there until we start playing basketball again.
The Raptors aren't a team built on transcendent star power. Their calling card during this season's success was always the unexpected chemistry and locker room camaraderie. To see Patterson statements and have them resonate based on what Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and others have said goes to show you that everyone seems to be on the same page here. As long as the Raptors keep winning, I don't see that changing. So keep the Ws coming!
There are some other gems in the that interview as well. I don't want to steal Mr. Herbert's page views, but please do check it out if you want to see Patterson's take on Guardians of the Galaxy (he liked it), Drake shouting out KD (he liked it), and watching the FIFA World Cup in person (he liked it).
Let us know what you think below!