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June 9, 2019

Fred VanVleet

Toronto, Ontario - Practice Day

Q. On his injury.
FRED VANVLEET: I hate wearing mouthpieces. You know, I'm a gambler, so I gambled and sometimes it comes back to bite you on the butt. But all kids out there, you should wear mouthpieces, but it was a weird play, and I took an unfortunate shot. And so now I will be wearing a mouthpiece for as long as I can manage it, and I'll probably throw it at some point during the game but I'm going to try.

Q. Did you have to get the tooth fixed?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, I got it fixed yesterday. I got back home, went to the hospital, got a CT scan to make sure that no bones were broken in my face, and then went and made a visit to the dentist and went home and went to sleep.

Q. So it looks all perfect now?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, I'm not going to smile for you though, but I'm back to normal, so that was a good moment and now I'm back.

Q. No other symptoms today with your head or anything?
FRED VANVLEET: No. No symptoms, no concussion. You guys can leave that alone and we have great doctors and great staff. We followed the protocol and we made sure that we're in a right state of mind before we go out there. So if anything, it will be on me to make sure that I report everything and tell them how I'm feeling.

Q. Is there any impact on your vision at all swelling in the eye?
FRED VANVLEET: It's a little blurry, just my eye's watering a little at random points, but it's not too bad. I've actually had worse before, so I'm doing all right. I was more upset about the team than the eye.

Q. What does it mean for a Rockford kid to be one win away from a championship?
FRED VANVLEET: It's big, man, it's a big moment for this city and obviously how I represent my city, and put the city on my back and just try to open up some doors for some kids that come after me. I just try to lay that foundation of change and hope, and it will mean a lot more to win an NBA championship at home than away.

So the job's not done and you can talk all you want about what it means after we finish it.

Q. On the Peoria and Springfield, Illinois connections in these series.
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, it's amazing, it speaks to the basketball pedigree of Illinois and the areas outside Chicago that don't get as much recognition, but still produce a high level of talent. I grew up watching Dre [Andre Iguodala] and Shaun [Livingston], those two guys have been amazing ambassadors for the game of basketball globally and to be from Illinois is special.

Q. On his role.
FRED VANVLEET: I know how important I am to this team, to this franchise and I know what I bring to the table, so that's never in question, never in doubt. For me just try to focus on maximizing my potential each night and giving my team the best chance to win and like I said we got to go out there and do it again tomorrow.

Q. On close-out games.
FRED VANVLEET: It takes a little bit more. It gets harder and harder and harder and that's what makes the playoffs so tough, each round gets more difficult and these guys have been very difficult to play against, and it's taken a lot of excellence on our part to try to get it done and nothing's going to change that. We have to continue to take care of what we have been doing and really play at another gear, and we still got room to grow, which is great, this team can get better, we can play better and we look to do that tomorrow night.

Q. On grittiness of the Raptors.
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah we got some tough guys. You're not going to get knocked around like that, if you don't stick your nose in there sometimes, and it was an unfortunate play but it happens, it's basketball. If you haven't gotten your eye cut up or get hit in the mouth a couple times playing basketball, then you're playing it the wrong way. It's not something that I'm trying to do by any chance, but I was just trying to win the game.

It was a fastbreak, I was trying to get position, inside position for a rebound, Serge made a great play on the ball, they called a foul and Shaun came down and gave me a good hit. So it is what it is, we won the game. It would hurt a lot more if we had lost.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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