There's no doubt the Toronto Raptors are on fire so far in 2019-20, and it seems like Masai Ujiri is a man in demand. However, amid reports the Toronto Raptors president could leave the franchise, Ujiri has spoken at length about his love for the 6ix. He explains how he knew the moment he arrived in Toronto that it was a city just waiting for a winning team.
After reports that he is wanted by the New York Knicks, the England-born executive responded by professing his love for the Raptors and their home.
When asked why he stays in Toronto, given the choice of teams and cities a successful NBA president has in front of them, he got straight to the point.
"My kids were born here. That's a big draw," he told CBC's Metro Morning. "For me, it's been a great city. People have been unbelievable to me and I appreciate that. I love that about the city, the organization, ownership."
"There's something special, unique. It's a huge challenge for me to come here and to win. I want to prove to everybody that you know what, we can win too. And to have that following behind us, for me is truly special."
That's a lot of reasons.
Even before he laid the foundations for success, Ujiri stresses that he could see Toronto's sporting potential so clearly.
"You saw hope, you saw huge potential," he said. "I said it from day one that we should be proud of who we are, what we have. [...] So, honestly, all I saw was huge potential."
His feelings for the city should be no secret.
Back in June, soon after the Raptors' historic NBA win, Ujiri went on record stating he wants to stay in the city.
He was even reportedly pissed at Kawhi Leonard for using the team as leverage in free agency negotiations after the NBA Finals MVP's leading role in the team's success.
Ujiri went on in the interview to explain another reason Canada appeals to him so much is its diversity and culture.
"We have this beautiful country here. And I just don't think we've extended it enough to other people, to show other people that man, this is what you can do," he said.
There seems little doubt Masai loves the city, and Raptors fans love him back.
Talk of him leaving Toronto any time soon certainly seems premature, judging by these comments.