World champion Dennis Schroder is about to enter the 11th NBA season of his career. He wants to prove something with the Toronto Raptors and hopes to be selected for a very special team in the league.
There are no exceptions for world champions in basketball who have ten years of experience in the NBA. “If you don’t have a passport, it’s over immediately. Then you can come back and go home,” Dennis Schröder told the German news agency before the start of the season with the Toronto Raptors.
The German national team captain plays for a Canadian team for the first time in his career – continuous border crossings between the two countries United States of America His new home is now part of everyday life.
More responsibility in Toronto
Even before the historic World Cup gold win with Germany, Schröder said goodbye to sunny Southern California and life in glittering Los Angeles and made the decision to move to Toronto. Instead of making a new attempt to win the Lakers’ 18th championship with star LeBron James, Anthony Davis and his dear friend Austin Reeves, Schroder chose more responsibility and freedom under the leadership of new coach Darko Rajakovic in Canada. “I’m the starting point guard here, and the coach communicates it that way,” the 30-year-old from Braunschweig confirmed.
A successful summer also helped his reputation in the new environment. “You know what Germany did: they wrote history. And of course everyone knows who won the Best Player award and what they contributed,” the development player said.
Two months after the great victory in the final match over Serbia, the moments of the tournament are still strongly present in Schroeder’s mind. “Every day,” he said. “I’d be lying if I said I haven’t watched the clips yet.” He added, “This is legendary and I don’t know when it will end. Of course I have to focus on the NBA. But with what we did this summer, it has become difficult.” There is no doubt that Schroder will be there mentally and physically for Game 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night in Germany (1:30 a.m. CET).
Local Toronto media as well as Raptors fans questioned the commitment in July, and even at the start of training camp two weeks ago, it wasn’t as clear to the public as it was to the self-confident Schroder that it was. The person who was responsible for the Meisters game from 2019 was coordinated. But he wants to convince all the doubters, in Toronto and in all other NBA cities. He declared, “I want to prove that I am one of the best goalkeepers in the league. I will go out here and try to move the team forward and be a leader.”
Schroder wants to be an All-Star
Defensively, Schroder expects a lot from his new team, and offensively he was also impressed with what was presented in the preparations. “The sky is the limit for 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 is unrealistic; The Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat, for example, look very strong in the Eastern Conference.
Schroder still wants to achieve something this season. “On my roster, what I’ve always wanted to do is always be an All-Star. And what I’ve learned is, when you win and you have success as a team, everyone wins,” he said. “An All-Star selection would be crazy, something I’ve always dreamed of. I think I had a few years, especially in Atlanta, where I should have been a star. None of that happened. That would be a good last thing.”
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