ATLANTA – Forward Gradey Dick made a self-promise to work hard at the Toronto Raptors’ training facilities and complete all tasks assigned to him during his first NBA preseason.
His perseverance soon paid off as he was featured in a music video alongside well-known Toronto rapper Drake.
After the team’s training camp in Vancouver, Dick had come back to the Raptors’ downtown Toronto location, the OVO Athletic Centre, since he had left a few items in his locker.
“What’s going on? I just saw people running around with cameras,” the 19-year-old Dick remarked on Thursday following a practice. Drake and his son were recording a video.
“I was supposed to meet Drake when he returned to Toronto, but we just happened to cross paths,” she said. “He said, ‘Hey, how about you make a quick cameo?'”
Drake appears in the video, but Adonis, his six-year-old son, is the one singing the song, “My Man Freestyle.” Adonis is rapping while Dick, Drake, and Adonis are seated next to each other at a news conference podium.
Dick’s rapid immersion in the hip-hop scene came so fast that his new comrades were hardly able to process his uniquely Toronto experience when he first saw Drake.
Dick chuckled, “It was so random that nobody knew what was happening.”
In addition to mingling with local superstars and their families, Dick is attempting to keep up with the NBA‘s rapid pace. Following a season in which he averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 36 NCAA games with Kansas, Dick was selected by Toronto in the first round, 13th overall.
Dick remarked, “I think the schedule here calls for a lot more because there’s more to juggle at school.” “Practice, get your work done, accident, and then use the rest of the day to really kind of utilize to your advantage—watch more movies, meet with your coach, or do anything else—there are just a lot more demands placed on you here.”
Dick added, laughing. “Just no assignments.”
Dennis Schroeder, a point guard who joined Toronto as free agency during the off-season, stated that although Dick is still “a little hectic” during games, he is a good man who is already displaying professionalism.
“Still trying to find his ways,” Schroeder remarked. However, I believe that he has a solid group of individuals who are attempting to mentor and teach him, so maybe he will accept this job and improve every day.
“But, honestly, I was only one speed when I joined the NBA at the age of 18 or 19. That, in essence, is the procedure. You must go through it, and he will understand.
In their last preseason game, Toronto will host the Washington Wizards at Scotiabank Arena on Friday. Darko Rajakovic, the head coach of the Raptors, stated that he wants his squad to continue producing offensively.
At the OVO Centre, Rajakovic stated, “I think it’s going to be very important for us in this last game to continue building our habits in transition.” “I believe we’re getting to extreme corners and clearing the floor for one another much better.
“I believe that in the half court, (we’re looking for) the aggressiveness and decisiveness to go downhill and read the game from there, finding the wide open man or finding layups from there.”
DEFLECTIONS: Rajakovic has stated often during the preseason that Toronto’s defense should be disruptive. The most measurable example of the strategy is deflecting passes and shots. He mentioned that the Raptors won 106-102 in Chicago on Tuesday, surpassing their target of 32 deflections.
“We’re concentrating a lot of effort on the 37 deflections we had in the game, watching video and practicing so we can keep improving on that,” Rajakovic stated.
WOUNDS — Central It is anticipated that Jakob Poeltl will be able to play for Toronto on Friday against Washington. Because of his ailment, he hasn’t practiced or played in days. Precious Achiuwa (groin) and Otto Porter Jr. (toe) are two forwards who worked out with the club on Thursday.
The Canadian Press initially published this information on October 19, 2023.