The Heat parted with fan favorite and former All-Star guard Goran Dragic this offseason, sending him to the Toronto Raptors as a part of the sign-and-trade deal that brought Kyle Lowry to Miami.
For Dragic, the move north to Canada wasn’t met with initial glee, especially since he and the Heat had deep ties. He took to social media to bid farewell to the Heat shortly after the Lowry deal became known and, a few days after that, an interview clip of Dragic talking with Slovenian media about the Raptors.
In it, Dragic said in Slovenian: “Toronto is not my preferred destination. I have higher ambitions. We’ll see.” As expected, those comments didn’t endear Dragic to the Raptors’ fan base. Michael Grange of SportsNet talked over the phone with Dragic, who was speaking from his native Slovenia, and the former All-Star guard promptly apologized for his comments.
“My message basically, to all Toronto fans, is I would like to apologize,” Dragic said in the interview. “It didn’t come out the right way. I know they love their team, and they should be proud, it is one of the best organizations in the NBA. They’ve already won a championship and I didn’t, so what I said, it really was not appropriate.”
Dragic clarified that he was not misquoted in the interview, but that the broader context of his point was missing.
“I was in the center of the city and the journalists were there and I was asked about Toronto and it was basically taken out of context,” Dragic said. “I told them that I had spent seven years in Miami and that would be the preferred destination for me because my family is there and everything, not Toronto.”
This season will be Dragic’s last under his current contract and, at 35, he skews older than the core players of Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby whom Toronto is building around.