Raptors’ Pascal Siakam Honors Late Father With Starring NBA Finals Debut


May 31, 2019

Pascal Siakam’s father would have been especially proud of his son this week.

The Toronto Raptors forward delivered a historic performance Thursday night in his team’s 118-109 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He scored 32 points on 14-of-17 shooting and added eight rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal in his NBA Finals debut.

After the game, Siakam, 25, dedicated his performance to his late father, Tchamo Siakam, a Cameroonian whose dream was for at least one of his four sons to play in the NBA but he died in 2014 from injuries he sustained in a car accident before he could see it happen.

“I’m just doing it for my dad,” Siakam told ESPN’s Doris Burke, per CNN. “At that time I didn’t even know if I really dreamed of being at this level. I couldn’t even think about this moment because it wasn’t reachable for me.

“But I think once I got to the point where I felt like I had a chance, I put everything forward and I just worked really hard. … I think that when I was 18 years old I didn’t think of it, but once I got to believing that it was possible, I put everything that I had to be at this level.”

Sikiam didn’t reach the NBA until 2016 and this season, his third as a professional, marks the campaign in which he became a starter and impact player on both ends of the court.

He speculated (probably correctly) what his father might have thought about his growth into an NBA Finals star.

“I think it’s a question that I ask myself every single day, and I know I wish I had the answer,” he said. “I know people always usually tell me that I know he’s proud of you, and I kind of want to hear it from his mouth, and I think it would be really cool.”

Sikiam also stressed he’s representing more than himself when he takes the court.

“But for me, like I always say, man, it’s bigger than basketball, and every night that I go out there, I have a bigger purpose, and I play for something bigger than just basketball. And I think that’s what makes it special, that every night I’m out there, no matter the result, no matter how many points I score, I’m playing for something bigger than myself.”

The Raptors and Warriors will face off at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday at Scotiabank Arena in Game 2.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Shamus/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports Images
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant
Previous Article

NBA Rumors: Here’s When Kevin Durant Expected To Return For Warriors In Finals

Michelle Wie
Next Article

Michelle Wie Calls Out Tiger Woods’ Ex-Coach For Racist, Sexist Comments

Picked For You