Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentorshipDenzel Washington
The Toronto Raptors organization has become a beautiful picture of mentorship. From the top brass to the Raptors 905 (G-League affiliate) mentorship has become an integral part to the organization. President Masai Ujiri and Coach Nick Nurse have established this mentorship culture and the players are all teachable. Kyle Lowry may have the most impact, when it comes to mentorship. Fred VanVleet has modeled his game after the 6x All-Star. VanVleet has gone from being an undrafted player to a Raptors starter, who can fill-in for Kyle Lowry without the team skipping a beat.
You can also see Lowry’s impact on Pascal Siakim, teaching him how to lead an NBA team. Siakim has been a sponge with a year of learning under Kawhi, and continued growth with the Raptor BIGS Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Siakim started as an extremely raw rookie and has become an All-Star Starter.
The impact of Marc Gasol has been amazing for the Raptors. Helping develop defensive positioning, toughness, and ball movement. In my opinion Serge Ibaka has grown on both ends of the floor because of Gasol. As a result, Ibaka has learned to be a great defensive player instead of just a great shot blocker. On the offensive end he has grown tremendously with his court vision and ball movement. He has also been able to round out his offensive skills, being able to back down opponents on the block, face-up and drive to the rim, and also has a reliable jumper.
Mentorship at its Finest
Throughout the whole Raptors squad, mentorship & development takes place. The current breakout player has been Terrence Davis. Davis is another undrafted player, who plays with a chip on his shoulder and has learned so much from Fred VanVleet & Kyle Lowry. Watching Davis play, it is evident that he has imitated the work ethic and style of play of the Raptors backcourt.
Mentorship is a 2-Way Street
Mentors and coaches love players that are teachable. If you are teachable the sky is the limit when it comes to growth, a practice we can all learn from in our lives. It is beautiful to see the Raptors veterans being the first ones jumping out of their seats when the younger players are excelling. Mentorship is a two-way street and you can see the results of success with the Raptors. The TEAM FIRST imprint combined with teachable players has created a winning culture for the Raptors. Coach Nurse has done a masterful job at cultivating the culture and he has the Raptors ready for a championship run.
The Streak Continues at 14!
Toronto Raptors are taking care of business and have won 14 games in a row. This is not only the longest winning streak in Raptors history, it is the longest winning streak in all of Toronto Sports!
The most impressive part is that the Raptors have maintained this streak being riddled with injuries. Kyle Lowry is currently out with whiplash, Marc Gasol is out with a hurt hamstring, and Norman Powell has a fractured finger on his non-shooting hand. The Raptors have the fifth most “Man Games Lost” with 175. The Raptors have a better record now at 39-14 than at the same time last year. This is so incredible because, the Raptors didn’t find any replacement for Kawhi Leonard after their championship run last year. They have dealt with many injuries to key starters and contributors. Yet, the Toronto Raptors remain second in the East, number one in the Atlantic Division, and remain the hottest team in the Association.
1, 2, Break
The NBA All-Star break is just around the corner and is much needed for the injured Raptor players. However, before they get there, the Raptors have two more games. They play the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday, February 10th in Toronto. The Timberwolves were active before the trade deadline trading away Toronto native Andrew Wiggins for the Golden State Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell. Russell is set to make his Timberwolves debut against the Raptors.
On Wednesday, February 12th, the Raptors head to Brooklyn to play their final season series game with the Nets, and the Raptors look to sweep the season series, before they head into the week long break.
IN CONCLUSION, THE TORONTO RAPTORS WILL HEAD INTO THE ALL-STAR BREAK ON A 16 GAME WINNING STREAK! #MENTORSHIP #TEACHABLE
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