After the Toronto Raptors lost 132-131 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Darko Rajakovic was heated.
Rajakovic unleashed on the officiating crew, believing they favored the Lakers.
In the fourth quarter, Toronto shot 2 free throws to L.A.’s 23. His postgame press conference would gain traction as fans weighed in on the free throw discrepancy.
For a Raptors team that has been super competitive since acquiring Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett, close losses sting. Especially as they’re trying to climb back into the play-in picture.
Rajakovic and the rest of the team had to refocus as they had a back-to-back against the streaking L.A. Clippers. But, after some time to calm down and reflect, Rajakovic still stands by what he said, via Michael Grange of Sportsnet:
“I will always stand up for my guys.”
It is admirable when a coach is that animated and passionate about his team. While it may not have resulted in a win, it shows Raptors players that their head coach truly cares about them and their success.
During his rant, he mentioned that Scottie Barnes is going to be the face of the league, which is another comment that he doubled down on:
“Scottie Barnes doesn’t want to be good, he wants to be great.”
There was a lot of anticipation for Barnes’ third season and he has not disappointed. He has clearly shown that he is the face of the Raptors for years to come.
Barnes scored 26 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds on 11-for-20 from the field against the Lakers. A game where he was getting downhill.
A loss like that hurts for Rajakovic and company, but the team has to move on as the NBA season never stops. However, perhaps a loss like this energizes the Raptors moving forward.
NBA insider reveals Warriors have interest in trading for Pascal Siakam
While the Raptors are trying to win now and look like a re-energized team, moves could still be on the horizon.
Signs are pointing to Pascal Siakam being dealt and the Golden State Warriors are a team that has an interest in trading for the forward.
Have you subscribed to the Raptors Nation YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!