One of the unsung heroes of the NBA finals is without a doubt Fred VanVleet. During the series against the Warriors, VanVleet provided the much-needed spark off the bench and averaged 14 points per game. VanVleet also displayed an incredible amount of courage making big shots in crunch time which helped the Raptors tremendously when they needed someone to score the ball.
VanVleet's story is incredible because he went undrafted after he declined two offers to play in the NBA Development League. He would later get signed by the Raptors after playing in the Summer League. He would, later on, signed a multi-year deal with the Raptors but his story is all about the importance of hard work and believing good things might come your way.
At the party, after his draft, when he went undrafted VanVleet spoke about why he decided to skip the D-League and the hard work he put in to get in a situation to play for an NBA team. He had the right mindset and now 3 years after his NBA career was in jeopardy he won a championship with the Raptors.
"So I had a chance to get drafted but they were talking about putting me in the D-League for 2-3 years slaving away for 20 thousand, 10 thousand a year. I turned those down. I bet on myself. It's been a long process. Right now I just want to celebrate the process and what I've been through, the grind. 18 cities in about 30 days, so I'm proud of myself for that. Obviously, everybody's dream is to get drafted as a kid growing up. Everybody wants to get picked. Obviously, I'm disappointed but I just want to thank everybody for coming out. Definitely going to drink a lot tonight. My story doesn't end here. It's just the beginning. It wouldn't really make sense for my story if I did get picked. I've been against the odds my whole life. It's not gone stop now."