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Masai Ujiri Press Conference Play-By-Play: Ujiri speaks post-Pascal Siakam Trade

Masai Ujiri spoke on the Raptors decision to move on from Siakam, the emotions, and even talked about the Dance Class he’s been taking...

NBA: Toronto Raptors-Media Day John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors President and Vice Chairman, took to the podium today to answer the media’s questions after making two blockbuster trades in the past month.

After the Raptors traded Anunoby, Flynn, and Achiuwa to the New York Knicks and then Pascal Siakam to the Pacers, it was obviously time for him to answer a few questions regarding the future of the team.

If you’re new here, a Masai Ujiri press conference definitely has a few staple statements (him saying the word “win” a lot for example). He can also say some random, wonderful things, usually unexpected.

All of this could make for a fun game of BINGO...

He has a pretty good rapport with the media and is extremely respected by Toronto fans and media alike.

It was a rollercoaster of emotion, with many twists and turns, so lets recap some of the highlights:

Masai kicked things off with giving a touching tribute to the players who left the team in the past month: Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa. He mentioned how much they all meant to the team, franchise, city, and their communities.

He got especially emotional about the African players, showing his true pride in how much they have grown.

Obviously the media then immediately jumping into Pascal questions.

The biggest thing here was that Masai was clearly devastated to have to trade away Siakam. He kept saying that phrase “his success is my success” no matter where Siakam is.

Another key point was that he mentioned apologizing to Pascal multiple times for the lack of communication that seemed to be going on. He said Pascal deserved better than that.

He ended up getting extremely emotional up there, an at times unable to speak. When he was asked to recap a few memories with Siakam, Masai talked about when he met Pascal at a camp in South Africa.

Apparently Masai only came to the camp so that he could visit his sister in South Africa. He had been enrolled in Pastoral school (like... to become a Church Pastor), when he met Masai. Obviously that never happened, rest is history.

Masai talked about Siakam’s commitment to his craft, to his family, and to his community as things he admires about him.

As the conference progressed into the “future of this team” talk, Masai’s buzzword of the day was “patience.”

Patience in their moves, patience in the new players, patience in the process.

He also mentioned the definite possibility that the front office is not done making moves ahead of the Trade Deadline, especially because they don’t intend on making three picks in the 2024 draft.

Ujiri also mentioned the “flexibility” they have given themselves to make more moves.

At one point, he was asked about Dejan Milojevic, the Warriors Assistant Coach that unfortunately passed away this week.

Masai talked highly of him, saying they had met before — but said Darko and Asst. Coach Jama were “beside themselves” yesterday at the news.

He also mentioned that Milojevic’s name was brought up by eleven of the head coaching candidates the Raptors interviewed with last summer as an idea for a potential hire.

Masai talked a ton about how the franchise is going young, how they are building around Scottie, and how much promising talent they now have. Patience, remember.

Now, here are some of the funny highlights:

First, Masai admitted he takes an Afro Beats dance class twice a week:

He also threw some serious shade to the media for not agreeing with the Scottie Barnes pick:

Friend of the site Eric Koreen asked him if he should be colder and it gave way to this incredible response:

He also nearly (pretty much did) dropped an f-bomb on stage:

Obviously, as always, he assured fans and media that Toronto WILL win again. Whether he is here or not — which was NOT any sort of sign he is leaving and just an expression that this franchise doesn’t need him to win.

Another GOATed Masai Presser in the Books.

For the record, Chelsea did get BINGO on her “Masai Press Conference Bingo Card.”