The Toronto Raptors’ season has been difficult for a number of reasons, and earlier this week, a report indicated that this got to star forward Pascal Siakam. Per the report, Siakam blew up at head coach Nick Nurse following a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was previously believed that the franchise fined Siakam $50,000, but the Raptors refuted this.
Blow-ups in NBA organizations are nothing new, even if it does sound like this one was a little more heated than normal. This was backed up by a report from Michael Grange of Sportsnet, who added some context to what was said in the tiff.
Siakam wasn’t happy and — according to multiple sources — let Nurse know about it, loudly and aggressively with words beyond standard cursing. It got personal, lines were crossed and teammates had to intervene, according to multiple sources.
It fits with a theme. Not surprisingly, with the way the season has gone and is going currently, Raptors island “is not a happy place,” as one source put it.
Grange went on to mention that Siakam has been generally dismayed this season, writing that Siakam, “feels like he’s been unfairly singled out for the Raptors’ poor season.” There have been a handful of moments this season where Nurse has relegated Siakam to the bench, and there was a game where he was held out of the lineup altogether in December following an off night in which he left the floor early.
Siakam has struggled this season relative to his recent exploits, averaging 19.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.1 steals in 35.3 minutes per game for the Raptors, which are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 17-26.