When Patrick Patterson arrived in Toronto from Sacramento this past season his game immediately turned around and steadily improved. Patterson credited the Kentucky connection with former Wildcats player and current Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey and talked about how his college experience prepared him for the pros.
“Things seem to go more smoothly here,” Patterson said. “The transition was easy due to my relationship with the guys and having a great coach – Casey – Kentucky relationship right there as well.
“In college my first 2 years, I was a center at 6’8, so to that I credit my post defense and (Coach) Calipari, he came in my junior year, he introduced me to the perimeter game. He allowed me to shoot the ball, put the ball on the floor and that allowed me to transition to the NBA.”
Patterson discussed his transition from the University of Kentucky to the NBA and how his game evolved by staying the extra year with the Wildcats. He then explained why the trade to the Raptors worked for both the team and the players that came over from Sacramento.
“The (Raptors) offense is kind of similar to what Houston’s was,” Patterson said. “Pick-and-rolls, pick-and-movement, moving and sharing the ball around the perimeter, if you are open in transition, shoot the ball, post ups and also if the ball swings to me, there is no hesitation to shoot the ball.”
Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri deflects a lot of the credit for the successful trade with the Kings as luck, however, the reasons given by Patterson for his personal success in Toronto suggest Ujiri saw more of a fit with his team than he has been prepared to acknowledge after the fact.
Unedited Raptors Players Season-Ending Comments (Audio)
“This was my first time being on a team where everybody accepted their roles, where everybody was per se happy,” Patterson said. “This was my first time being in a positive environment where everybody was supporting one another.”