Toronto is just all I’ve known — and all I’ve wanted to know. I never asked for a trade. Maybe this sounds naive, but I felt I could be one of those dudes who spends his whole career on one team. That was my mentality even with the rumors. Like: I helped the Raptors win their first NBA title. So eventually I’ll help them win their second. I always took that as a given, you know?

Toronto made me feel like I belonged from day one. I loved the diversity — I’d go out and I’d see Cameroonians, Ghanaians, Mexicans, Koreans, Jamaicans, Europeans, just all types of people from all types of communities. It made me feel comfortable. […] It was like, OK, if so many people somewhere are foreign … maybe you’re not feeling as foreign.

Jakob, Fred, Norm, Delon…… man, those were good times. That was such a tight group. Like, we were some underdogs, but we weren’t just “scratching and clawing.” We were coming for heads!! We used to play “5 on 0” at the gym before practice most days. Just the five of us, running the offense against nobody, drive kick swing, drive kick swing, getting those reps in. We really did everything together: work out, hang out, go out, whatever. I think it was our second year, Jak and I went to Cancún during All Star??? He taught me how to shotgun a beer. I didn’t even know it’s a thing!!! It doesn’t make much sense. (I wasn’t good.)

The organization, they were also great about setting us up for success. They just cared about me — like, about Pascal the human. That was the standard. I mean, no joke: Raptors people took me to my driving test!

And I’ll always be a part of this community. That’s what I meant about putting roots down — it isn’t just, you know, “oh I have a house in Toronto.” It’s where I live. It’s where so many of the things I care about are, and where my brothers and sisters are, and where my PS43 Foundation is and will continue to be.