It’s a bit unusual for two players 23 and under to be competing for the same spot in the rotation. Dalano Banton discussed the nature of his relationship with Malachi Flynn.
- Any questions?
- We know you're young and all. But just playing a few games every day, every day up and down [INAUDIBLE] you must be really tried of this?
DALANO BANTON: No. I'm not getting tired of it. Just kind of trusting in the process that they have going on for me. I trust in the development of the Raptors. And I've seen it, like I said, countless times of guys who came before me. So just living in the moment. And I'm having fun out there. So it's good.
- How are you managing your time? Are you [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: I mean, I'm never short of anything that I need. Whatever I need, these guys are there for me, whether it's treatment, recovery, to get in the gym, to get up, exercise. So I just take advantage of the resources I have.
- Dalano, you got that [INAUDIBLE] so far this year. And obviously, you [INAUDIBLE] Toronto got [INAUDIBLE]. Like, big picture at this point of the year, [INAUDIBLE] what's it felt like to play in front of a Toronto crowd after-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: It's my first year here. So I couldn't tell you about playing any other year. But I was a fan before I ever played. So it's always been a great environment, even watching the games, being a part of it that way. So it's been fun. It's been great. And me being from the city, it's just that much more fun too. It's good.
- [INAUDIBLE] player-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: I knew how loud it was before. And just being on the court and them cheering for you, it's just a very different feeling. But it's still really loud. It's lit.
- Dalano-- [INAUDIBLE]
--you had ever crossed baths with those two guys. I know you played a lot of your-- basketball--
DALANO BANTON: No, I didn't.
--sometimes? Like, you're around the same age. Your [INAUDIBLE] --yet you never have crossed paths-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: I'm not too sure about those guys' journeys. So I don't want to speak on it. But I'm happy that there's a good amount of Canadian guys in the NBA representing. So I'm happy for their journey. But I don't know too much on it. But there's a lot of guys from Canada who are in the NBA that I never came across before here.
- Why do you think that is? That-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: I don't set up my own games or nothing. So I have no clue.
- You look at [INAUDIBLE] bigger point guards-- but he might be the best Canadian in the NBA. Do you look at anything he does and try to add that to your game, as you're a bigger point guard yourself?
DALANO BANTON: No. He's good though.
- Dalano, you had your first skills academy last week. Did you talk about-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: It's definitely great. We had it in the works for a long time. Kind of just took a while to pick the date because of COVID and trying to get the most amount of kids possible that we can. But it's great to go back. And just to have the mayor there and the chief of police and stuff like that, guys who we see in the neighborhood and come out. They come out a lot, just not for me.
They go out to a lot of different events as well. So it's good to have them show their faces. And there's a lot of people that the kids there have to look up to, somebody, and them being mayor a mayor, a chief of police, so a lot of good outlets that you get to hear from.
So I feel like just being able to give back and show my face whenever I can is going to be very helpful to my community. So I want to continue to do so. And for the next time or the next camp or anything that I do do, I hope I get to bring out more kids and more people just because of COVID.
What does something like that do for-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: Just kind of makes you feel like it's possible. Just being there, seeing them, it's a dream come true. I remember when I was a kid going to camps like this, I loved it. So I feel like just for them, and-- me coming from-- I also know some of the kids too. So it's good to just be there and see them and spread love.
- Maybe we should [INAUDIBLE] maybe [INAUDIBLE] you're hoping a lot of your friends and family [INAUDIBLE] vaccination status-- [INAUDIBLE] --urged any of your friends to go and get vaccinated when they could?
DALANO BANTON: Oh, 100%.
DALANO BANTON: Yeah, definitely.
- Yeah, but how many are?
DALANO BANTON: I couldn't say how many. But a lot of people come to the games. And a lot of people have been vaccinated. But even before the season started, when I first got drafted, they knew how it was going to be going into it. So people got vaccinated before the season had started because they want it to be at games, and they didn't want to miss the first one. So a lot of people have been getting it. Well, basically everyone's vaccinated now, to be honest.
- How do you balance the 905? You're obviously the more-- [INAUDIBLE] role. How do you balance learning while you're down there with what you're bringing back to the Raptors?
DALANO BANTON: Playing under Coach Mutombo is great for me. I feel like he's going to help develop my game a lot. He holds me accountable as well as you letting me do my thing and playing my game. And when I come up here, come back up here to do the little things.
And I feel like playing for Coach Mutombo, it's a blessing. He's going to challenge you to work hard and play to the pillars that we have. And like I said before, the style of play is not too different because you could get a call up at any day from the 905 to come up here. And you would have to be on the same page.
So it's a blessing to be down there, getting to run the same actions, getting to look for my shots and look my reads at a high level and do it with a lot more chances and a lot more opportunity.
- What does it say about this team that so many guys went down to Washington?
DALANO BANTON: It's great, just that support that we get from them. And like I said, Fred, he came from the G League team. So it's like they see the journey. And they came from the journey. So it's kind of a blessing just to have it. And we're trying to continue to build our team chemistry. So if they get a chance to come out and watch us play, they'll do that. And they've just been supportive. It's been a good.
- What's your relationship with Malachi been like-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: You know me and Malachi. We've been great with each other. I feel like we understand the situation that both of us are in. And we go head to head with each other. But off the court, we're friends. We're close friends. And I feel like with Mal, we're going to continue to push each other to do better. And whenever we get a chance to play together, whether it's in the Raptors or the 905, we just want to pick up the pace and pressure the ball and do the things that we can to keep us out there together on the floor together.
So with him, it's been great. It's just been a head-to-head. And we've just been trying to go at it every chance we get. But he's been a great push for me. And he's been in the league a year. So I still look to him for advice, look to him for what I should do to make Coach Nurse notice me. I asked them that early.
And just him playing point guard the year before me, I got a lot of answers from him, coming off the bench, and what to try and bring in when you do go into the game.
- What was his answer when you asked him what will make Nick notice you?
DALANO BANTON: Just playing hard, playing the pillars that they preach. Like he said, just being a rookie, coming in, you're not going to score 30. You're not going to do that. Or you're not going to get all the shots that you want. So just playing to the pillars, that was what he really told me, as well as all the other guys that told me play to the pillars, our defensive pillars. And just play hard. And then whatever you could do from there.
- You two are obviously very different guards-- [INAUDIBLE]
DALANO BANTON: Yeah, definitely, like I said, where both the backup point guard. So we always talk. We always take advice from each other, whatever he can do to help me and whatever I can do to help him.
- No more questions.