In the fall of 2019, Pascal Siakam was riding high. He had just finished his third N.B.A. season and was well on his way to becoming basketball royalty in Canada, having just helped lead the Toronto Raptors to their first championship, alongside Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard. Siakam was awarded a maximum contract extension, which gave him the status — at least financially — reserved for stars. He rewarded that faith from the Raptors by making his first career All-Star team that season.
This was an unexpected rise for Siakam, a Cameroon native who only picked up basketball at age 17 and spent two years at New Mexico State University
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