Fred VanVleet was requested if he feels extra Canadian after doing his greatest imitation of a hockey participant on Friday evening.
“If that’s what being Canadian is,” the Toronto Raptors level guard stated with a smile, “I’m not sure I want it.”
Regardless, many Raptors followers might be calling VanVleet, who’s from Rockford, Sick., an honorary Canadian right now after taking one for the group in Sport Four of the NBA Finals in opposition to the Golden State Warriors.
VanVleet misplaced a part of a tooth when an inadvertent elbow from Shaun Livingston caught him flush within the face early within the fourth quarter after a Toronto foul beneath the basket. He was bleeding profusely beneath his proper eye and a part of a tooth ended up on the court docket.
After getting seven stitches and clearing concussion protocol, VanVleet returned to the bench and watched the Raptors end off a 105-92 win, placing Toronto one victory away from an NBA title.
“I don’t play hockey. I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys and what they do, but losing a tooth is not fun,” VanVleet stated. “The stitches I can deal with. I was more upset that i had the remnants of my teeth floating around in my mouth as I was laying there on the ground.”
The undrafted VanVleet, who has grow to be a fan favorite in Toronto for his gritty play and underdog journey to the NBA Finals, continued to play effectively on Friday.
After struggling badly within the second spherical, VanVleet has stepped up in an enormous means at each ends of the ground. The six-footer was a plus-12 in 29 minutes of Sport 4, ending with eight factors, six assists and 4 rebounds.
VanVleet, who additionally wanted stitches close to his eye after taking an elbow to the face in Sport Three of the Japanese Convention closing in opposition to Milwaukee, smiled for reporters afterward to point out he did not lose his whole tooth.
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“I didn’t lose it, but it did some damage,” VanVleet stated. “Hopefully by the next time you guys see me, I’ll have it fixed. I took a nice shot there and unfortunately it took me out of the game. I just tried to hurry up and get it stitched up and be back on bench with the guys. They took care of business.”
Raptors centre Marc Gasol acknowledged VanVleet may have a distinct look through the subsequent two off days.
“He doesn’t look too good right now. We probably won’t see him smile much the next couple of days,” Gasol stated.
“But I don’t think any of us have smiled yet. We’re all happy, but no one is satisfied yet.”