The Toronto Raptors have been doing their best to remain in good spirits, as they are trying everything they can to make it to the postseason despite playing the season in Tampa amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the bright spots over the last few seasons has been center Freddie Gillespie, who was recently signed to a multi-year deal.
Gillespie, a former G League star that has helped the Raptors get the rebounding quality they have been missing, has proven to be a very consistent player for a team striving for any sort of normality and stability in this hectic, crazy season.
Given his motor, toughness, and apparent skill at signing Miley Cyrus, Gillespie has quickly become one of the most beloved players on this team. Toronto fans have quickly embraced Gillespie, and he paid the fanbase the ultimate compliment by remarking on what a passionate bunch they are.
Gillespie claimed in a pre-game interview that even though he hasn’t had a ton of direct experience with the Raptors’ fanbase, he thinks that they’re a “different” group when compared to the rest of the league. The Baylor alum said that the Raptors fanbase reminds of the type of fans you’d see in a rowdy college town.
Freddie Gillespie loves the Toronto Raptors’ fanbase.
While the community in Tampa Bay, Buccaneers included, have done an admirable job of supporting the Raptors in their one-year sabbatical, the atmosphere in Tampa doesn’t feel the same. Thousands of fans screaming their hearts out at Scotiabank Arena is a much more intimidating sight than what the team has been privy to in Tampa.
The Raptors are likely headed for an offseason stuck at home, and it doesn’t take a genius to reason that playing in one of the most difficult environments of visiting opponents north of the border would’ve added a few wins here and there to Toronto’s ledger in what has become a very tight race between themselves, Chicago, and Washington.
Gary Trent Jr. has had similarly positive things to say about the fanbase’s ability to connect with fans. Trent once remarked how taken aback he was by how supportive the Raptors’ fanbase is, mentioning that fans are constantly in his DMs before and after games. He’ll feel the love in Toronto if Masai Ujiri retains him.
Gillespie is endearing himself to the Raptors fanbase from a country away, and his deal for 2021 could help him finally make his debut up north. With Gillespie earning rave reviews, he’ll quickly become a fan favorite with the Toronto Raptors.