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Raptors pause basketball talk after Jacob Blake shooting

The conference semifinals are two days away, but the Toronto Raptors aren’t talking about the Boston Celtics right now.

When the Raptors spoke to the media from the NBA campus in Orlando on Tuesday, there was no discussion of how they’re going to guard Jayson Tatum.

There was the briefest of updates on Kyle Lowry’s left ankle injury. The All-Star point guard didn’t practice on Tuesday and is “day-to-day,” according to Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

Mostly, there was frustration. Frustration after seeing video of another Black man, Jacob Blake, being shot by police. Blake is hospitalized after being shot in the back seven times while opening a car door in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“I was pretty excited [about the Boston series] and then we all had to watch Jacob Blake get shot yesterday,” Fred VanVleet said. “So that kind of changes the tone of things and puts things in perspective. That’s really kind of all that’s been on my mind.

“Coming down here and making the choice to play was supposed to not be in vain. But it’s just starting to feel like everything we’re doing is just going through the motions and nothing’s really changing. And here we are again with another unfortunate incident. So my thoughts today are with that man and his family.”

Not long after the Raptors spoke, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown expressed similar anguish, saying that, going forward, when he sees the No. 7 on his jersey, “what I see is a black man being shot seven times.”

 

 

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