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After a dangerous fall, things are looking up for Patrick McCaw.
The 23-year-old former Golden State Warrior was accidentally undercut by Vince Carter of the Sacramento Kings last March and he suffered a frightening bone bruise upon landing and was take off the court on a stretcher.
Immediately after the fall, McCaw lost sensation in his legs, causing him to fear the worst.
“It put everything into perspective about basketball, about life in general,” McCaw told reporters Friday during his first press conference since being signed by the Toronto Raptors on Thursday for the rest of the season. “Looking back on it, it was one of the scariest moments of my life. Things could be a lot different for me right now. I’m just so appreciative that things went the right way for me.”
McCaw held out as a restricted free agent with Golden State until signing a two-year, $6 million non-guaranteed offer sheet with the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, an offer the Warriors opted not to match.
He played in three games for Cleveland, averaging 1.7 points and 1.0 rebounds, before he was waived by the Cavaliers, a move which is under investigation by the NBA. His contract would have become guaranteed unless the Cavaliers waived him by Monday.
McCaw, owner of two championship rings earned during his time with Golden State, maintains a positive outlook regarding his journey from the Warriors, to the Cavaliers and now, to the Raptors.
“The past couple weeks have just been all over the place,” he said. “But it’s exciting because I know I’m back working, I know I’m back getting the opportunity that I feel I deserve.”
McCaw did not play in the Raptors’ 122-105 victory against visiting Brooklyn on Friday night at Air Canada Centre. First-year Toronto coach Nick Nurse said before the game he had not talked with McCaw regarding his role with the team.
“Hopefully, he can space and attack and handle the ball and defend,” Nurse said. “Those are things he’s supposed to be able to do. Pretty interesting defender. I think he sees the game pretty well from what I’ve watched film-wise.
“He’s a little bit of a risk-taker defensively, but that’s OK, we like that. So we’ll just see. We’ll throw him in there, play the one, two, three, wherever he fits in.”
McCaw is upbeat about getting back onto the floor after a lengthy layoff. In 131 career NBA games, he is averaging 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “Just to be back in the flow of the NBA, regardless of if it’s a day, if it’s a year, like just being back in that atmosphere, around coaches and players who know the game and can help you grow. That’s all I’ve been waiting for the past couple months.
“It’s exciting I’ve gotten this opportunity and I’m ready to get to work.”