Dennis Schroder is already starting beef before putting on a Raptors jersey

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 15: Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 15: Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Part of the reason the Toronto Raptors signed Dennis Schroder in free agency was the fact that he has a reputation as a veteran leader who is unafraid to speak his mind. Even if the truth is uncomfortable, Schroder is not going to be silenced. Even teammates are fair game.

Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber was the latest player to feel the wrath of Schroder. While the two could have combined to lead the German national team to new heights in the FIBA World Cup, Kleber has since retracted his participation after Schroder randomly put him on blast.

In an appearance on the “Got Nexxt” podcast, Schroder took a shot at Kleber for sitting out last summer due to injuries, implying that he was not committed to winning with the German team. He also took shots at the journeyman forward’s skills and overall game in a very blunt manner.

I you say to [German coach] Gordon Herbert, ‘I’m Maxi and I want to train ball handling and work on my game in the summer,’ then, sorry Maxi, but you don’t have a game,” Schroder said. “You’re a pick-and-roll player. You’re not a Carmelo Anthony type of player. You don’t have to work on your game.”

Toronto Raptors PG Dennis Schroder beefing with Maxi Kleber.

These comments may be an extreme, yet somewhat realistic, example of what a team led by Schroder will feel like. Schroder wants everyone to know their role and excel in it. While this isn’t a particularly healthy example of such philosophy, that mindset could help the Raptors.

Schroder and Herbert, who was actually a Raptors assistant during the 2008-09 season, will try to get through a somewhat difficult World Cup group that includes Finland, Australia, and Japan. At least they have some proven NBA talent with which they can accomplish such a goal.

In addition to Schroder and former Raptors bench guard Isaac Bonga, Germany will have the services of both of the Wagner brothers in Franz and Moritz, as well as Pacers center Daniel Theis. Schroder can help Germany cement itself as one of the best European teams.

Schroder will let everyone on this Raptors team know if they are falling out of line. That might rub people like Kleber the wrong way due to how direct he was, but a Raptors team full of young players could benefit from Schroder taking on a leadership role as the Sixth Man.

Next. 5 players the Raptors kept for too long. dark