Top Stories

Masai Ujiri Rumors

Masai Ujuri told Stanley Johnson he was bad at basketball

Johnson’s next stop was with the Toronto Raptors, where he averaged 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game on 38% shooting from the field from 2019 to 2021. He also played three games for Toronto’s G League Raptors 905. Though Johnson once scored a career-high 35 points for Toronto and was viewed as a defensive stopper, his tenure concluded with some tough love from Raptors president Masai Ujiri and other members of the front office. Johnson says he needed that career-altering honesty from Ujiri.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 32 more rumors
“That was a real honest conversation. That’s what I needed to hear,” Johnson said. “In the NBA, honesty is not always the first and foremost thing that people want to give you because it’s not the easiest thing to say to people that are professionals. I’ve been playing basketball all my life. I’m pretty damn good at basketball, so to tell me I’m bad at basketball, it’s a hard conversation to have with a professional athlete.
“It takes a different type of man to tell you that to your face and not in a pessimistic way, in a constructive way. What are you going to do? Are you going to take [it poorly] or are you going to do something about it? I felt like I want to do something about it. I’m 25 years old. I know I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been in the league for a long time because I got in early, but I’m not even anywhere close to my prime, anywhere close to the player that I can be in my life.”
Numerous key decision-makers from around the league were spotted during the first two days, including Denver’s Tim Connelly, Dallas’ NIco Harrison, Memphis’ Zach Kleiman, Charlotte’s Mitch Kupchak, Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti and the San Antonio duo of R.C. Buford and Brian Wright. Toronto’s Masai Ujiri, fresh off his own recent stint in the league’s health and safety protocols, was also briefly in attendance.