4YO Son Ties Fred VanVleet Down to Raptors Despite Historic Rockets Move

Published 02/09/2024, 7:35 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Fred VanVleet closed the Toronto Raptors chapter of his career last summer. After spending 7 years with the Raptors and helping them win a championship, VanVleet decided it was time to leave the team he had played for his entire career. He signed a 3-year $130 million deal with the Houston Rockets last June, making it the biggest contract in NBA history by an undrafted player.

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Despite not being part of the Raptors for nearly 8 months, VanVleet continues to stay tied to his former team because of his 4-year-old son. VanVleet revealed that his son has fond memories of his time in Toronto and forces him to watch the Raptors’ games even today.

“Whether I want to or not, my son makes me watch Raptors’ games,” the Rockets guard said in an interview at Scotiabank Arena. He added, “He’s still got all the memories, he loves being here, he loves the mascot, he knows the players.”

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Like it or not, his son won’t be able to see him play tonight. VanVleet will be just there to watch Houston and the Raptors go head-to-head since he is still dealing with an adductor strain. But his son will definitely be happy to see the giant outdoor screen in Maple Leaf Square featuring his father’s face and words, “Welcome back champ”, to welcome VanVleet. He did fight the training staff to allow him to play, even just a little, but despite his zeal, he won’t be seen on-court dribbling. But he was showered with a warm welcome after traveling to his longtime home.

VanVleet got overwhelmed after this. He broke down in tears in the first quarter during a video tribute dedicated towards him and his contributions from his time as a rookie to the star he is now. People saw an emotional NBA Champion walking out from the Rockets bench towards the free-throw line, acknowledging the roar of applause and standing ovation he received.

Fred VanVleet has found a new home in Houston

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Although he does miss his former team, he realizes that his new team needs him as well. He said, “They wanted a leader, they needed kind of what I bring to the table, what I provide, so it’s been a perfect fit.” Of course, he is a great addition to the team. It is upon his joining the team that the Rockets and Raptors are practically sitting in the same place in the Western and Eastern Conference, respectively – 12th place with a 23-27 record. Far better than their performance last season.

After Spending 7 Years With a Single NBA Franchise, Fred Vanvleet Sheds Light on His $130,000,000 “Pressure”

In a way, he has put that historic run behind him in the rear-view mirror and has perfectly fit himself into the shoes of a veteran that the Rockets need right now. VanVleet has been a key contributor to the Rockets’ growth this season. He’s been averaging 16.5 points, 8.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in the past 47 games he participated in with his new teammates. He has also contributed to improving the performance of young Rockets stars, including Alperen Sengun and Jalen Green.

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VanVleet has two more years left on his Rockets contract, and it will be interesting to see how far he can take the Rockets franchise with his leadership. Alperen Sengun and Co. have the potential to be one of the best teams in a few seasons if they keep growing. And VanVleet could be a part of another successful franchise following his run with the Raptors.

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Written by:

Rohan Bhaunt

847Articles

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