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Masai Ujiri reflects on basketball, the Raptors and the Giants of Africa

In a Q&A with Vice's Alex Wong (who also manages this website!), Masai Ujiri had some things to say about basketball on his home continent, the Raptors, and more.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Nelson Mandela's passing at the age of 95. To honour his legacy, and promote growth and opportunities for youths in Africa, tomorrow also marks the second annual Giants of Africa event, as led by Raptors GM Masai Ujiri.

In advance of the event tomorrow, our very own Alex "steven lebron" Wong got a Q&A with Ujiri and talked to him about his charity work, basketball, the Raptors and, of course, his Blackberry. You can read the entire thing here at VICE.

Here are some tidbits and Raptors-related things Ujiri got into.

On roster turnover:

Believing that chemistry is an important part, did that make turning the roster over so much this summer a difficult decision?

It did. When you're building a team and you go through what we went through the last couple of years, there are a few guys you're used to. But it's part of the business. You jump to another stage, you move onto something else. Sometimes that something else is new and you don't know what you're getting. It might look good on paper but you don't know how it will look when the season starts.

On the painful loss in the first round to the Wizards last season:

The sweep to the Wizards in the playoffs last season. How hard do you take losses like that?

I don't want to say for the rest of my life, but it's one of those things that haunt you. I can remember every loss, that's how hard you take it. But you can't react crazy. Over time, you have to build your philosophies where you manage the team and its progress. Those losses hurt, but you move on, you figure it out. I'm one of those people who lives with them, but they inspire you, they make you work harder. They give you sleepless nights, but you have to move on.

And of course, here's Masai on his decision to stick with the Blackberry:

I just see everyone using Androids and iPhones these days. But no complaints about the Blackberry?

Safest in the business.

This is probably why there are never leaks about trade rumours or draft picks.

Yeah, exactly. I'm telling you. That Blackberry, man.

The whole thing is worth reading (if only to find out how many Drake CDs Masai owns).

Meanwhile, the Giants of Africa event will take place tomorrow before and after the Raptors' game with the Warriors.