On the latest episode of "Hustle Play with Chris Boucher", Boucher and Christian Koloko discuss what's different about Pascal Siakam this season and why his trash talk with P.J. Tucker earlier this season was surprising. The full episode can be watched on our YouTube channel or listened to on the Hustle Play podcast feed.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Is a good one for us.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Pascal's cheering for Cameron, too?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, yeah, he's definitely cheering from Cameroon.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Hmm. Mm-hmm.
- Let's talk Pascal, actually.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Mm-hmm.
- I'm glad you brought that up, Coach.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah, I don't know how we didn't, man.
- Talk to me about what you've seen thus far from Pascal Siakam. That dude is, like-- he was top five in the MVP race before he went down with an injury. But you now seeing him up close and personal, what are your thoughts on the way Pascal Siakam is hooping?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Man, I ain't going to lie to you, he's way better than I think he was. Like, he's way better than I think he was. Like, before I got there, like, I knew he was good, you know? So I knew he was good.
But when I got to the Raptors, and I see the way-- his work ethic, the way he works, and when we are playing, I was just like, yeah, he's good. And you can see how he's getting-- he continues to get better. That's the crazy thing, is that he continues to get better.
And you expect somebody like him, because he's already the franchise player for the Raptors, like, he's going to stop working on his game. But Pascal is there every morning, the first one there.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: When I'm walking in the gym, Pascal is already working.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Working out.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, he's always working out. And he's always there, first one there, probably the last one to leave every day. He's like that every day. And just having somebody like him, who is the franchise player, and then showing the way to the people like me is just amazing, man. It's just amazing.
- Chris, tell me about Pascal. Because you have been telling us Pascal has been the man--
CHRIS BOUCHER: I've been saying it, man. Since the summer, you know, I've seen it. Like, obviously I've seen Pascal grow through the years. But there's one thing I think that I couldn't see from the championship year.
It's like he had, like, that swagger. I don't know what it was. Like, just that when he had the ball, you just felt like anything could happen, right?
So then this summer, that was back. You know, we went to Rico, and I'm like, something about Pascal, man. And then came to training camp, and he was just, like, you know, just killing.
And now, scoring-- like, obviously I've seen Pascal scoring. Every time, I was like, wow, he look amazing. But now, it was like, he's passing and playing defense. He's doing a lot of different things. So I'm like-- he's rebounding and everything.
So I was like, yeah, that's MVP Pascal. Like, he's trying to get to that point. And then I was saying that to the media. And obviously, they took it and-- before he got hurt, obviously, they saw what I was talking about. And I'm sure he's going to get back to that level. But yeah, Pascal is getting to another dimension of the greatness that he could be.
- You know what I like about Pascal this season, and just watching him? He seems happy.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah.
- He looks happy.
CHRIS BOUCHER: That's the little just thing that he has. And he's going to give you that shit, too, if you talk to him, though, you know?
- Oh, he's [INAUDIBLE].
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, yeah.
- He's [INAUDIBLE].
CHRIS BOUCHER: I've seen Pascal-- I've seen guys talk to Pascal crazy. And he's just like-- you know, he kills you with the scoring. But this time, it's like, no, I'm him.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah, I'm him, and I'm here, you know?
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, he knows it's him right now. He knows. Like, he's confident. He's confident.
CHRIS BOUCHER: He'll step on your neck now and be like, I'm Captain Morgan, you feel me? Like-- like that, yeah, straight. Yeah, like, you should talk to him. Yeah, he got some smoke. I was so happy, man.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: That game, PJ was talking-- was talking some old shit to Pascal.
CHRIS BOUCHER: JoJo, you remember his brother understands? I was talking about it. His-- like, his brother was like, Pascal never talks. Yeah, I know he never does. But PJ got a lot of smoke out of that.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah. Like, Pascal--
- I don't think he was expecting it, though.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Because he never does it. PJ been in the league so-- how many times? All the year Pascal was there, probably playing him, like, 15 times? Never heard him say anything like that. But right now, it's like, yeah, yeah, I'm here. It's gonna be a long day.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: He's like--
- No, give us the X-rated version. What did he say?
CHRIS BOUCHER: It's going to be a long day. I'm here.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, like-- he hit, like, three 3's in a row. And every time he was hitting a 3, he was just looking at him like, yeah, I'm here right now.
CHRIS BOUCHER: In his face, clapping, going back on the [INAUDIBLE], not even know what's going on.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, that was actually the first time I'd seen Pascal like that. I was just like, yeah, he's-- it's on. It's on right now. Like, yeah.
- Do you feel like your leader has to be like that?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I'm trying to think of a leader that's not.
- Curious, because I'm thinking of a guy--
CHRIS BOUCHER: I don't know. I think so.
- I remember when you guys played with a guy like Kawhi Leonard, who was like the leader, but he doesn't say anything.
CHRIS BOUCHER: He dunks on you every time, Kawhi. He makes you feel it. Like, Kawhi is going to make you feel it. He's going to shoot that same [INAUDIBLE] at the same spot that you can't stop. And then he doesn't have to say a word. It goes in.
Then after that, he dunks on you, and then finish the game. Like, you don't really need to be like that. But Pascal, since that whole time, they've been talking about how, Pascal, obviously--
- I love it.
CHRIS BOUCHER: --you know, he's Pascal Siakam. And he's going to give you 25, whatever. And now, he gives you 25 with, like, anger. Like, yeah, I'm here. And now, everybody feels it.
And then us behind it, we're like, oh, well, if Pascal does it, then maybe we should do it too, you know? And then brings the-- all energy on our team. And I think we have a different demeanor when Pascal plays. Like, the demeanor of the team is different.
CHRISTIAN KOLOKO: Yeah, that's for sure.
CHRIS BOUCHER: And I think that's a good thing to have.