Raptors’ VanVleet happy with All-Star experience: ‘That was pretty special’

Fred VanVleet speaks about how much All-Star Weekend meant to him & his family.

Fred VanVleet‘s all-star experience is over.

The Toronto Raptors guard scored six points in nine minutes of action as part of Team LeBron’s 163-160 victory Sunday over Team Durant.

But while VanVleet didn’t get too great of a chance to show what he could do, he feels like his time knocking boots with the NBA’s elite, past and present, was worthwhile.

“It was probably being in the locker room and just being around the guys and hear some of the stories and share stories,” VanVleet said over video conference of what the best part of the weekend was for him. “I think that’s probably the best part, just to be a part of the brotherhood of (what this) elite level is.”

VanVleet, 27, was a first-time all-star in his sixth NBA season. He is the eighth different Raptors player to be named an all-star and is just the fourth undrafted player in the NBA’s modern era to be selected to the league’s prestigious showcase.

This season, he’s averaging 21.6 points and seven assists per game while shooting 40.1 per cent from three-point range on 10 attempts per game — second only to Stephen Curry’s 12.3 per contest.

VanVleet also averages a league-leading 38.4 minutes per game, so playing the sparse nine minutes he got was actually a welcome turn of events for him.

“I’m happy with the way the night went,” said VanVleet. “We won, I got out there and made a couple shots, got some cardio in. That’s it. I’m good.”

VanVleet likely would’ve played more Sunday, but he was likely asked to sit out to make way for Curry’s brilliant performance.

The Golden State Warriors star delivered the greatest shooting performance in all-star game history, making a record 16 three-pointers in the game on his way to 50 points, just two shy of the all-star game record.

For his spectacular play, Curry was awarded the inaugural Kobe Bryant MVP Trophy.

VanVleet looked to be a casualty on the way to Curry winning the all-star game MVP award, but he took it all in stride and, like most people watching, was just enjoying the show.

“(I) was just enjoying it. I had pretty good seats to watch the show,” said VanVleet. “He was locked in and it was fun.”

For the game, VanVleet finished 2-for-4 from the floor, with all of his shots coming from three-point range. A better showing than just the 16 points he managed to put up in the three-point shooting contest on Saturday night.

In that contest, he began his competition by bricking a ball off the side of the backboard in the left corner.

The first shot he made on Sunday was from that same spot and he splashed it home without any problems.

Up next for VanVleet will be some rest and relaxation with his family before he gets back to work with the Raptors.

Toronto will resume its season on Feb. 25 in Charlotte to take on the Hornets.

The Raptors begin the unofficial start to the second half of the season in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 32-25 record.

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