Here's what happened after Fred VanVleet broke the Raptors scoring record
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet continues to shine as one of the team's most impactful and hard-working players, besting every other Raptor in NBA history on Tuesday night with a new single game franchise record of 54 points.
From Jamaal Magloire on Instagram: postgame celebration for Fred VanVleet in the Raptors locker room pic.twitter.com/tzC7Ivdw6K— Eric Smith (@Eric__Smith) February 3, 2021
The 26-year-old Illinois native, who joined the Raps in 2016, actually set two new records during last night's game against the Orlando Magic while leading Toronto to a much-needed 123-108 victory.
First off, the 2019 NBA champion surpassed late legendary baller Moses Malone to score the most points by an undrafted free agent in league history. Malone, who died at the age of 60 as a Hall of Famer in 2015, had previously set the record at 53 points back in 1982.
On top of that, VanVleet bested one-time Raptors great DeMar DeRozan (now of the San Antonio Spurs) to set a new record for the Toronto Raptors player with the most points ever scored in a single game.
DeRozan wasn't bent about losing the title, though. In fact, he called up VanVleet during the game to give his former teammate a pep talk in the hopes that the would set a new record. And not for the first time.
"He FaceTimed, just congratulating me, reminding me again that I was going to get cussed out if I didn't beat his record," joked VanVleet during a post-game interview.
"We've had that conversation a few times, when I've had big games and I've had a chance to go for it. In the past I've kind of shied away from being thirsty. Tonight I just tried to keep my foot on the gas a little bit more."
DeRozan, who scored 52 points for the Raptors in 2018 before he was traded for Kawhi Leonard, also congratulated VanVleet on Twitter (while simultaneously dunking on Kyle Lowry) following the game.
"Congrats to my brotha Freddy V! Kyle old ass couldn't do it," wrote DeRozan. "Glad you did champ! Been telling you."
Lowry himself agreed wholeheartedly, joking with reporters that "I seen DeMar sent out the tweet saying I was too old to get it, and I am. But my two guys, DeMar and Freddie, have the records!"
Lowry, whom the Raptors franchise jokingly referred to as a "part-time hype man" on Twitter last night, was intensely supportive of his teammate as usual.
"Y'all know how I feel about him, that's my little brother, man, and I'm proud of him," said the NBA All-Star and veteran Toronto Raptor after the game.
"You can't put into words the amount of work that went in there… I'm happy to be a part of the process. I was more hype than he was trying to get [him] 50 points. Words can't describe how I feel right now."
The entire team was overjoyed, in fact, by VanVleet's accomplishment, as evidenced by how they greeted him when he walked into their locker room following Tuesday night's game.
Video footage shared by the team is putting NBA fans everywhere in a good mood due to its sheer positivity and the brotherly love shown between Lowry and VanVleet.
"Fred is an amazing ball player and shows such great character and sportsmanship. He deserves this accolade so much," wrote one Twitter user in response to the video.
"MAN I LOVE THIS TEAM!!! I love this game!"
"Your inspirational reminder of the day: [VanVleet] wasn't picked in the 2016 NBA draft. Yesterday, he broke the scoring record for an undrafted player as the Raptors beat the Magic," commented one fan.
"The moral: doesn't matter what people say about you. It matters what you say to yourself."
It was the will for his team to win, however, not to set personal records, that made VanVleet push hard last night.
"I wanted to win more than I wanted 50 points," he told reporters. "Just trying to continue to play with a pure heart and let the game come to me, and I was rewarded for that."
While the beloved athlete and famously good person did admit that the night was "special," his eye is once again on the prize ahead.
"[I'm] just trying to enjoy it for now, but it's not a championship or anything like that," he told reporters. "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."
When asked how it felt to beat the records set by DeRozan and Malone, VanVleet said it was "unbelievable."
"I'm very humbled and honored to be in the same sentence as both of those guys."
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