Toronto Raptors all-star point guard Fred VanVleet did not mince words when asked whether his team would have repeated as champions if Kawhi Leonard had stayed beyond the 2018-19 season.
“Three-peat,” VanVleet said on “How Hungry Are You?” presented by Samsung Bespoke hosted by Serge Ibaka.
“It was just a perfect group of individuals and we all… had the right mindset for (our) roles. I think definitely we would have won a few more.”
VanVleet was peppered with questions about the past Raptors, including who the best Raptor of all time is and who he has a man crush on. The former teammates also discussed the playoffs in the 2020 Orlando bubble and agreed that that loss to the Boston Celtics was a big hit for a team with championship aspirations.
Ibaka treated VanVleet to food native to Africa to start the meal, and VanVleet said he was surprised by how easy Ibaka took it on him when it came to the dish prepared. That thinking ended when VanVleet saw the tea — consisting of crickets — that he had to drink if he failed to answer any of Ibaka’s “spicy questions.”
Loyalties were tested when Ibaka asked whether VanVleet would trade any teammates, including Scottie Barnes, for Kevin Durant. VanVleet’s friendship with Drake was also put on the line in the “spicy questions” segment when Ibaka tried to call the iconic rapper with VanVleet’s phone.
A poignant moment in the interview came when VanVleet was asked about Fox Sports commentator Chris Broussard’s remarks earlier this year when he said African Americans feel uncomfortable playing basketball in Toronto.
“That hasn’t been my experience, and I don’t know anybody that I’ve played with in the last six, seven years that has had that experience,” said VanVleet, adding that Toronto is “a top city in the NBA.”
The pair finished their meal with fried chicken hearts and VanVleet was very wary of every bite.
Catch VanVleet’s reactions and answers and other upcoming episodes of “How Hungry Are You?” with stars Matty Matheson (Dec 5), Jrue Holiday (Dec 12) and Aaron Rodgers (Dec 19). New episodes drop every Monday and can be seen on Sportsnet TV or on-demand on SN NOW, Sportsnet’s Youtube channel and Ibaka’s YouTube channel.
VanVleet and the Raptors host Durant and the Nets on Sportsnet this Friday at 7:30PM.