Pascal Siakam prefers working out to breakfast

Toronto's Khem Birch says he's never seen anyone work harder than Pascal Siakam, predicting a 'special' year for the Raptors star.

Video Transcript

- First off, how-- I mean, difficult health year for you last year. How are you feeling coming into this season?

KHEM BIRCH: I'm not 100%, but I feel way better than I did last year.

- You said last year about that [INAUDIBLE] I would never get back on it, but did it get further along than you thought it be?

KHEM BIRCH: It actually got worse, because I didn't even know what I had. And then when I had the surgery, I found out and then I realized the reason why I got worse off.

- What was the reason?

KHEM BIRCH: Torn meniscus. Yeah. I did like in like fifth, sixth game of the season. I remember I had like a-- I thought-- my knee went to like a balloon, and I had like a bone bruise, and I didn't even know what it was. I just thought it was a bone bruise thought I was going to go away. And then when I broke my nose and all the swelling went down, I realized there's something wrong with my lateral side of my knee. And I was going to address it that in the off-season so.

- There would have been multiple tests. Was it a thing that was just like, too swollen to see?

KHEM BIRCH: I think that's what it was. I had like at least like five, six MRIs and it wasn't even showing up. So you know, I decide to play on it and just address it off season.

- What was your off season like that, just kind of rehab? We saw you kind of ask like, you were getting shots out and things like that?

KHEM BIRCH: That's all I was doing, just getting shots, just spending time with my family and try to rehab it. That's it.

- So how important is this time for you now?

KHEM BIRCH: Oh it was very important, but the good thing is that we have so much good guys in this team. I don't really need to play that much in any many minutes or anything. I can just solely come back and earn my minutes. So I'm not really worried about that.

- How-- sorry, go on.

- So you got to be patient then?

KHEM BIRCH: Oh, yeah, for sure. Patience has been the key to my whole career. So I'm not really worried about it. I'd rather get 100% than be how I played last year. So.

- Pascal has been talking about raising the bar for himself. Obviously, you guys leaned on him a lot last year. What do you think is the key to sort of unlocking the next phase of his growth?


- Yeah.

KHEM BIRCH: I mean, Pascal was one of the hardest workers I ever seen, ever. I don't even think he wakes up in the morning. I don't think he eats breakfast or stretches. He just works out for an hour before practice, practices and then works out like another hour after practice. I've never seen anything like it. So I think he's going to be-- he's going to be very special coming soon. This is going to be a really good year for him.

- Are there things you think you could-- I don't want to say odd, but maybe do more of that will like free things up for everybody else? Like anything jump out to you?

KHEM BIRCH: It's probably drop 20 plus a night. That's it. And I think he's capable of doing that. So I don't think there's anything really much. You know, and probably, just three-pointer. I don't know, maybe I don't know. That's it.

- I mean, do you see him at the level of some of the other true superstars in this league?

KHEM BIRCH: I mean, he can get there. Like I said, this dude works out every day. I've never seen him take a day off. So I come inside Saturdays there, Sundays there, you know, so you know, I think he has potential to be like that.