NBA All-Star Game: Pascal Siakam's unpredictable, rapid rise with Toronto unlikely story

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SportsPulse: LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly had an agenda when picking their rosters for the 2020 NBA All-Star game.

USA TODAY

NEW YORK — Pascal Siakam’s climb from Cameroonian teen with a marginal interest in basketball to NBA All-Star is as inspiring as it is improbable.

But it’s not just the climb. It’s the speed and angle of ascent. Straight up and fast. It’s summiting Mount Everest in half the time.

►In 2016, the Toronto Raptors selected him with the 27th pick;

►In 2018, he was a role player;

►In 2019, he was a prominent player on a team that brought Toronto its first title. He was named the league’s most improved player. A few months later, he signed a four-year, $129.9 million extension;

►This weekend, he’ll start in his first All-Star Game.

Siakam’s rise is one of the most remarkable player development stories in NBA history.

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Confronting the realistic notion that the 27th pick doesn’t become a star, Siakam said, “This is what I envisioned…

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