Fans are loving Fred VanVleet's celebration of Raptors win and here's what it means
The Toronto Raptors narrowly defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in a total nail-biter at the Well Fargo Centre last night, the 115 – 109 road win for the Raps punctuated with a...ummm...ballsy celebration from star point guard Fred VanVleet.
It was back and forth all game, and Philadelphia was up 109 - 107 with just over one minute left on the clock in the fourth quarter.
Back-to-back dagger three-pointers from Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet closed out the game in epic fashion, VanVleet adding insult to injury with a very specific celebration that has people talking.
Fred VanVleet's celebration after his DAGGER three 😂 pic.twitter.com/1XoNSXYqH5— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 12, 2021
Borrowing from 90s clutch shooter Sam Cassell, Steady Freddy commemorated his "it's over" shot with a little bit of pantomime known in NBA lore as "the big balls celebration," to the delight of announcers and the Raptors' bench.
Fred VanVleet for the win and SAM CASSELL BIG BALLS CELE pic.twitter.com/FL6YUXJser— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 12, 2021
Also known simply as "the Sam Cassell," the celebration is, well, precisely what it looks like. A playful display of masculinity exaggerated to the "you might want to see a doctor" level. Though some still needed a bit of a breakdown of what they were seeing.
He’s implying he has large testicles that hang low from his body.— Miles Tuesday (@MilesTuesday) November 12, 2021
It may seem like a random callback, but this was a calculated troll move by VanVleet. Sam Cassell may have retired from the hardwood in 2009, but he has served as an assistant coach for the Sixers under coach Doc Rivers since Nov. 2020.
Cassell was in the house to witness the put-away shot and ensuing celebration, but even with a bit of trolling, VanVleet still went over to the 76ers bench to shake hands with the legend himself after the game.
FVV went over and paid respect to the man Sam Cassell himself after the play/final buzzer pic.twitter.com/8HPyGbCoEY— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 12, 2021
Freddy is not the first to borrow this move from Cassell, with a long history in the league.
This celebration NEVER gets old. 😂💀 pic.twitter.com/FS1aVmpfP9— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) November 12, 2021
After the game, VanVleet spoke to sideline reporters but revealed little about his choice in celebration, saying, "we goin' keep that between the team. If you not havin' fun with this, you doin' it wrong."
I asked Fred about that* celebration but the streets need an iso of Sam Cassell right there on the Philly bench watching— Kayla Grey (@Kayla_Grey) November 12, 2021
Many fans are eating up VanVleet's cocky (sorry) celebration, but some aren't happy about the blatant sexual nature of the move, one commenter calling it "cringey." Another fan wants to see VanVleet fined for the display.
bro just embarrassed himself with that cringey celebration— Real Sports Analyst™ (6-7) (7-2) (4-5) (@LameloLover) November 12, 2021
A few on Twitter think that even if VanVleet gets fined for his controversial display, it was totally worth the entertainment.
Nah Fred really did the Sam Cassell dance LMAO. Worth the fine.#Raptors— Avry's Sports Show (@Avry) November 12, 2021
Freddy probably isn't worried though, having just led his team to victory with 32 points, including six 3-pointers, plus seven assists and six rebounds.
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