‘It was only a matter of time’: Fred VanVleet used motivation from former teammate DeMar DeRozan calling him ‘weak’ in jocular fashion.
Fred VanVleet has had to prove himself ever since he was in the league, being an undrafted player. Becoming a champion, paving his way into the starting lineup and becoming one of the best three-point shooters in the league, VanVleet has definitely silenced all his doubters. This offseason, he signed a well deserved four-year, $85 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.
On Tuesday night, VanVleet said ‘it was only a matter of time’ before he broke the Toronto Raptors’ record for most points scored in a game. The Raptors played upset the Orlando Magic 123-108. In the win, Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 54 points while shooting 11 three-pointers.
The 6-foot-1 guard broke DeRozan’s record who had scored 52 points back in 2018. In a postgame interview VanVleet hilariously said:
“It was only a matter of time. Every time I get a 30 or a 34 I usually get a text from DeMar telling me that I’m weak for not passing his record so I definitely had him in mind as I got close down the stretch.”
VanVleet said in his interview with @Sportsnet after tonight’s game that he had DeMar in mind as he chased the record in part because DeRozan would text him anytime he had a big game and tell him it was “weak” because he hadn’t taken down his record yet. https://t.co/tx1sEtoIxI
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 3, 2021
‘Sometimes you hit a groove and find that zone. I was able to do that’: VanVleet on his historic game
With his historic 54-point performance, VanVleet has broken quite some records. He is now the first player to have 50+ points, 10+ three-pointers made, 3+ blocks and 3+ steals in a game.
The 26-year-old also surpassed the 53 points set by the legend, Moses Malone, to score the most number of points by an undrafted player. While also being the first guard since Michael Jordan to have 50-plus points, three-plus blocks and three-plus steals in a game.
When VanVleet was reflecting upon his performance during the postgame interview, he said:
“It’s just time. It was time. I’ve been missing a lot of open ones this season, more than I usually do. But it was time and sometimes you hit that groove and you just find that zone and tonight I was able to do that. My team-mates did an unbelievable job of finding me and screening for me and getting me the ball in my spots. A lot of them were just catch and shoots.”