Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/19/13
The pronouncements were bold and they were brash. Tim Leiweke and Masai Ujiri are thinking big as they usher in a new era for the Raptors. Though they both preached patience the high-powered executives made the end goal clear: The Raptors finally will become a serious relevant franchise under their watch. “We’ve made it clear to all of our players we’re going to win championships here” Leiweke said to the season ticket holders on hand for an ACC schmooze-fest Friday. “I believe in Masai. My trust my faith is in this man. He’s going to lead us to the next level and he will lead us to a championship here in Toronto.” Just not overnight. “This year is not based on wins and losses it’s about how we grow” said an amped-up Ujiri clearly moved by the size of the crowd and by its support. The new Raptors boss returned the favour passionately laying out again how happy he is to be here and what he intends to build – with some help from the fan-base. “We don’t care what the other 29 teams think of us. It’s going to take patience but we’re going to build it here. “We’re going to be the team (on U.S. national) TV on Sunday” he said. “This is it it’s about to start … (but) it’s going to take patience” Ujiri reiterated. Ujiri asked the fans to give the Raptors more of a homecourt advantage and also to “really support” head coach Dwane Casey. “We need this place to be a living hell for any team that comes in here. I’m going to challenge you. When (opponents) come in here (they know) ‘we’re going to kick your ass.’” Ujiri spoke humbly – “Honestly guys I haven’t done anything. I want to do it here” – and he spoke enthusiastically.
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