NBA guard Goran Dragic apologizes for dissing Toronto after being traded to Raptors
Brand new Raptors guard Goran Dragic became public enemy number one in Toronto this afternoon after video footage surfaced of the Slovenian baller saying that he has "higher ambitions" than playing for Canada's only NBA team.
The clip in question, sourced from a news outlet in Dragic's home country, is not in English, but translators say it shows the 35-year-old athlete saying that Toronto is "not [his] preferred destination."
Needless to say, reception was not warm.
Goran Dragic and Toronto Raptors fans— Noël | pogipogi (@pogipogitv) August 9, 2021
"Raptors" and "Dragic" were both trending within hours of the initial tweet's publication as Toronto residents and fans of the 2019 NBA champions freaked out over the newly-imported player's comments.
Raptors really going from nine years of watching Kyle Lowry to Goran Dragic acting like he’s something special. pic.twitter.com/hDaXor5Yip— Libaan Osman (@libaanstar1) August 9, 2021
"Dragic can go f*ck himself! He'll sit on the bench all year and make 20 million then BYE!" quipped one fan. "Toronto has Fred, Flynn and Trent and possibly moving OG to the 2 to start Barnes at the 3! #f*ckyouDragic."
The Miami Heat had higher ambitions when they traded your ass for Kyle Lowry. https://t.co/cQ7ufhqKCD— Bryan Jones (@bryanjj0nes) August 9, 2021
"Bro, it's fine if you don’t want to be a Toronto Raptors player. It's fine," wrote another.
"Just know, our fans are ruthless and the fact that you spoke to the media and said this, you might not get a single clap in Toronto, but you'll be met with boos."
Raptors fans to Dragic after his first game this season pic.twitter.com/HNoZpZ15iC— Joziah Carron (@JoziahCarron) August 9, 2021
Fans dunked on Dragic for most of Monday afternoon, effectively saying that Toronto doesn't want him either if that's his attitude.
DeMar DeRozan always knew Goran Dragic was a bitch. In DeMar We Trust https://t.co/JKaNIkim0R— Sid (@KashmiriChai32) August 9, 2021
He even got the snarky Wikipedia page edit treatment.
Has anyone seen Dragic’s Wikipedia page 😭💀 pic.twitter.com/8BCI7xOTUw— 𝓓𝓪𝓷 (@ogDANunoby) August 9, 2021
Raptors general manager Bobby Webster weighed in on the alleged comments Monday afternoon on Sportsnet 590, giving Dragic the benefit of the doubt and noting that something might have been lost in translation.
"I'd rather get it directly from him to just understand exactly what he meant by that (but) we feel like we're going to be competitive," said Webster. "He's a pro and has been around a lot and he's obviously entitled to want to make the most of his (remaining playing) years."
Dragic himself apologized for the controversial clip on Monday evening, telling Sportsnet's Michael Grange that his words "didn't come out the right way."
He feels terribly about how it came out because he realized nobody is going to want his piece of shit ass with that attitude lol— Shaf (@Shaf28_) August 10, 2021
Part of me wants to see him here opening night so we can boo him on home court. Part of me wants him to fucking go choke on his dinner. Oh well https://t.co/GIbuoEkwsJ
"My message basically, to all Toronto fans, is: I would like to apologize. It didn't come out the right way. I know they love their team, and they should be proud, it is one of the best organizations in the NBA," reads Dragic's apology, per Grange.
"They've already won a championship and I didn't, so what I said, it really was not appropriate."
"I've always been professional. You can ask a bunch of people. Everywhere I've played, wherever I'm going to play, I'm going to be professional and do my job," the guard continued. "I love basketball, I love to play and I'm going to give 100 per cent wherever I play."
Raptors fans don't have to accept that apology if they don't want to. Doesn't mean Dragic isn't a pro, or a great competitor or any of that. I'm sure if he's around, that won't be an issue. But doesn't mean we have to accept him or that apology.— Joseph Whalen (@JoeWhalen19) August 9, 2021
Raps fans aren't exactly buying it as sincere...
You know someone on the Raps organization had a word... https://t.co/edPFHo7vlB— anKita (@atiknab) August 9, 2021
Rumour has it that Dragic wants to go to the Dallas Mavericks, which appear to be actively courting him. For this to happen, the Raptors would have to buy Dragic out or trade to him to another team, but the organization hasn't confirmed any plans to do so.
Some NBA fans are wondering if he may have publicly thrown shade at Toronto on purpose to agitate management into cutting him loose so that he can go to the Mavs.
"Genuine question — is Dragic trying to force the Raptors to buy him out by saying this publicly?" questioned one on Twitter. "I don't see top teams offering anything the Raptors would want for him anymore now that this is out there.
It’s a ploy to force Raps hand ! If Toronto fans don’t want him then they might feel pressured to trade him for pittance!— Kathy (@Kathy35720792) August 9, 2021
If Dragic does stay in Toronto for the season, may luck be on his side during his first appearance at Scotiabank Arena.
Fans may eventually forgive the man if he delivers a lot of points, but they'll never forget his "higher ambition."
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