The Toronto Raptors season just got underway. There are some new faces and a new energy. We spoke with the lone remaining Canadian on the team, Chris Boucher, about the coming season and a few of his favourite Toronto things.
How does it feel to now be the lone Canadian with Dalano Banton and Khem Birch gone?
Obviously, I miss Dalano and Khem, they’re my boys. But I’m just trying to be understanding and grateful of the opportunity that I’m still with the team.
Are you taking a leadership role, being one of the longest serving Raptors on the team?
Yeah, obviously. Not on purpose, but I think it just worked out that way. Being here for a long time, there’s just a lot of stuff that I know better. And it feels good to just, you know, give my peace and what I know to the young guys.
What makes you most excited about the coming season?
Just playing different, having different schemes, a different defensive mindset, a different image. Taking the new coach’s style will help us to play a different brand of basketball.
What do the Raptors have to do to make an impact this season?
I think we just have to keep the focus on the right thing and focus on ourselves. Every team in the NBA has their own plan and so do we. Continuity is something that works for us, especially with the guys that we have over here.
What do you think will surprise fans the most this season about the team?
The ball movement. I think doing everything together should help. That’s something that they didn’t see a lot. So that should be surprising to them — just seeing how fast we got together.
How’s the new coach, what’s the biggest difference there?
Oh, how much he cares, I think, how much he cares about the players. The way he talks to them and keeps communication with them, I think that really helps.
And tell me a little bit about your impressions of Gradey Dick so far.
He’s really nice. He wants to learn, and he can really shoot the ball. He’s really good with attention to detail. And I think that’s something that’s going to help him and the confidence that he has. Just a great kid to have around.
Now for the short answer questions: what was your first job?
In a restaurant washing dishes, waiting tables.
What’s the worst piece of career advice you’ve received?
Chase the money.
Where would you take visitors to the city the first time?
Probably on a boat if it’s the summer — bring them on a boat just to see the city from the water.
Favourite restaurant and why?
Akira Back, wagyu tacos.
What do you do to get away from it all?
Play video games.
What’s your fave?
Call of Duty.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Health and family. I think health is definitely happiness.
What is your greatest fear?
Which person do you most admire?
When and where were you happiest?
Maybe 2019, the year of our [NBA] championship, or the year after, during those times.
Which talent would you like to have?
I’d like to be able to read minds.
What is your greatest regret
Not starting basketball sooner. (He was 19.)
What is your personal motto?
Grind now, shine later.