Toronto Raptors star forward Pascal Siakam could not contain his excitement about returning to Toronto, posting a short, behind-the-scenes hype video profiling his first day back in the city to his YouTube page on Wednesday.
Produced in collaboration with Tier Zero and Red Bull, the five-minute clip, titled, "Back in the Six – Toronto Homecoming" follows the Cameroonian around as he lands in Toronto and shares his thoughts on being back home.
“It feels just like when I go to Cameroon; when you haven’t been home in so long, and you come back,” Siakam says in the beginning of the video. “It’s good to be back man, I’m excited.”
The 27-year-old is then filmed greeting teammates and staff at the OVO Athletic Centre as he arrives for a light practice and some treatment.
Arguably the most entertaining bit of the video comes when Siakam boards a TTC streetcar and attempts to blend in with on-board commuters.
“It’s my first time,” he says, after being told he has to pay for his ride. “I like the vibe though, I feel like people don’t bother anybody, I like it!”
Siakam expands on this moment of normalcy, unfamiliar to an NBA superstar exploring the city he’s called home for five years.
“I just wanted to get that real feeling, that’s all I’m looking for man,” he says, a black surgical mask covering his nose and mouth. “Like a real Toronto man, I’m taking the streetcar.”
His short journey ends at an empty basketball court in downtown Toronto, where he gets some shots up and reflects on the simple joys of hooping in the park, as he did in his childhood.
“I feel like I’m in a really good place mentally; I feel good, my family’s good, and I’m just happy,” Siakam says. “When I’m happy, my family’s alright and I know that everybody is taken care of, that’s when I’m at my best.”
Raptors fans will be just as happy to see their star forward in good spirits, and will hope he can turn the good vibes into an All Star-calibre season as he has in the past. For now though, he’s just happy to be back home in the Six.
“I feel like I’m a real Toronto man now!”
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