December 5, 2023

Dennis Schroder debuted with the Toronto Raptors and an All-Star dream

Dennis Schröder celebrated the first world championship title in German basketball history in detail, but now everyday life in the NBA is starting again for him. The 30-year-old goalkeeper knows that he cannot rest on the laurels of the World Cup and instead needs to improve his performance from the first minute. “If you don’t have a passport, it’s over immediately. Then you can go back home,” Schroeder said German press agency Before the season started with the Toronto Raptors. The German national team captain is entering his eleventh NBA season, but this will be his first time playing for the Raptors. The Toronto-based team is the only Canadian team in a North American professional league.

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Last season, Schroder played for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Brunswick native made the decision to say goodbye to sunny Southern California and move to Toronto, the glitzy metropolitan life of Los Angeles ahead of historic World Cup gold with Germany. Instead of making a fresh attempt at the Lakers’ 18th championship with superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis and his good friend Austin Reaves, Schröder opted for more responsibility and freedom under new coach Darko Rajakovic in Canada. “I’m the starting point guard here, and that’s how the coach related it,” asserted the 2023 World Cup MVP.

The historic coup with the DBB team did not go unnoticed by Canadians. “You know what Germany did: wrote history. Everyone knows who won the MVP and what I contributed to it,” declared the development player. Two months after the great victory in the final (83:77) against Serbia, the moments of the match are still very vivid for Schröder. There are more.” Every day. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t seen the clips yet,” says the 79-time national player. “It’s a legend, and I don’t know when it’s going to go away. Of course I have to focus on the NBA. But what we’ve done this summer, it’s difficult.” There is no doubt that he will be there.

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Schroeder is in a key role in Toronto

Local media and Raptors fans in Toronto also questioned the commitment in July, even at the start of training camp two weeks ago, when he wasn’t as clear to the public as he was to the confident Schröder. Game was in charge of the 2019 NBA Champions. But he wants to convince all the skeptics in Toronto and in America. “I want to prove that I am one of the best point guards in the league. I will try to go out here and move the team forward and be a leader,” declared the 1.85m tall German.

Dennis Schroeder, basketball world champion, at a reception on the balcony of Braunschweig’s town hall.

Defensively, Schroeder expects a lot from his new team, and he liked what was shown in the production. “The sky’s the limit with this club and the people we have – if we do what we can do defensively and offensively,” he said. However, a championship with the Raptors was elusive; The Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat are very strong in the Eastern Conference.

Schroeder is still without a title

Schroder’s NBA career began with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013, making him the longest tenured player in North America to date. He moved to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018 before playing point guard for the Lakers for the first time in 2020. Schroder returned to the Lakers in 2022 via the Celtics and Houston Rockets, before moving to Toronto the following summer. None of his previous five positions were good enough for a title, not even individually.

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“The All-Star selection is going to be crazy.”

Dennis Schroeder

That should change this season. “On my list, the one I always wanted was to be an All-Star. And what I’ve learned is that if you win and win as a team, everybody wins,” said Schroeder, expressing his desire for one of the NBA’s biggest individual awards. “An All-Star selection would be something crazy, something I’ve always dreamed of. I have some I think there were years, especially in Atlanta, where I should have been an All-Star. Nothing came of it. That would be a good thing.” He could take the first step toward that on Thursday against Minnesota.

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