The Toronto Raptors mounted a sensational comeback against a quality Philadelphia 76ers team on Thursday night, as Fred VanVleet was able to keep the offense afloat in the fourth quarter and hit enough clutch shots to send Doc Rivers and Sam Cassell home with another loss.
The play of the game was VanVleet hitting an absolute dagger of a 3-pointer that made it a two-score game in Toronto’s favor with just a few ticks of the clock to go. VanVleet did not take the reserved route when it came time to show off, as what he did next might end up being one of the defining moments of this Raptors season.
In his playing days, Cassell patented a nice little bit of revelry when he would turn his hands inward and pretend to be holding up his…let’s call them privates. That little shimmy is borderline iconic, and VanVleet couldn’t resist the opportunity to provide his take on the gesture.
What makes this already awesome moment even better? He did it right in front of Cassell, who is currently an assistant coach for the 76ers. When you hit a 3-pointer like that, you get to show off in any way you choose.
Toronto Raptors stud Fred VanVleet celebrated in front of Sam Cassell.
For large chunks of the game, VanVleet was the only player that was consistently hitting shots on offense. Rookie stud Scottie Barnes looked a bit tentative in the first half and Chris Boucher had more poor turnovers. When VanVleet’s supporting cast perked up around him, the Raptors found the formula they needed to pull off the upset.
Barnes started to make an impact on the offensive glass, Boucher had his best game in weeks, and the 76ers were able to make enough big 3-pointers to stave off any sort of rally Philadelphia could muster. With a long West Coast road trip coming up in the next few weeks, Toronto needed every bit of momentum.
Ever since Cassell first broke out this little dance during his playing career it has been emulated across the league, with everyone from Jameer Nelson to Klay Thompson having reenacted this little shimmy. VanVleet’s version, however, came with a bit of extra spice added on.
The fact that VanVleet had the testicular fortitude to hit that shot against a division rival to both give his team a snap a four-game losing streak is impressive enough. Mocking an assistant on the opposing team by ripping off his famous celebration makes this moment a borderline all-timer. Let’s get that statue built!