Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet may get a movie made about him one day. His story of perseverance and believing in yourself is inspirational for anyone who has been doubted.
Fred VanVleet turned a negative into a positive back in 2016
After a productive college career at Wichita State, Fred VanVleet entered his name in the 2016 NBA draft. He had a party filled with friends and family during the night of the draft. The evening was supposed to be a celebratory evening for the VanVleet family.
However, VanVleet wasn’t drafted by a team. Everyone at the party was in a down mood, as they felt bad for VanVleet. The Rockford, Illinois native, though, wasn’t going to let that evening ruin his dream to play in the NBA.
After the draft ended, VanVleet grabbed the DJ’s microphone to address his guests and said he would bet on himself. The feisty guard also took to Twitter and tweeted, “bet on yourself.”
The Raptors signed VanVleet to a multi-year contract in July of 2016, and the rest is history. The 26-year-old won the 2019 championship and signed a four year, $85 million contract with Toronto before the 2020 season.
Before the 2020 free agency period, the Knicks were mentioned as one of the teams interested in Fred VanVleet since the club was in desperate need of a point guard. However, in typical Knicks fashion, the organization passed on FVV, and they look like fools after VanVleet’s 54-point game.
The Knicks were scared that Fred VanVleet wouldn’t be effective with them
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks liked Fred VanVleet a lot. However, some league sources believed VanVleet was more “prone to shine on an established team than being the lone star — as he would be on the Knicks.”
The Knicks are stuck with Elfrid Payton, who isn’t good. Meanwhile, VanVleet erupted for 54 points on Tuesday against the Magic. It is the most points scored by an undrafted player in NBA history. VanVleet also broke DeMar DeRozan’s single-game franchise record of 52 points.
“Unbelievable. I’m very humbled and honored,” VanVleet said after the Magic game, via ESPN. “Just a special night, obviously, a lot of different levels. So just trying to enjoy it for now, but it’s not a championship or anything like that. It was a good game for me, and I’ll enjoy all the love for a couple hours and get ready for the next one.”
The Raptors are thankful the Knicks decided not to throw Fred VanVleet a big-money offer in free agency. The New York franchise is going to regret that move for a long time.
The Raptors are playing good basketball again
The Raptors are 9-12 on the season and 6-4 over their last 10 games. After starting the campaign off slow, Toronto is starting to play good basketball again.
All signs point toward the Raptors making the playoffs and going on a deep run. With Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Kyle Lowry leading the way, Toronto will be a tough out in the postseason.