Patrick McCaw, the free-agent guard who officially signed with the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night, knows that better than most.
The 23-year-old former Golden State Warrior suffered a particularly scary bone bruise when he was undercut by Vince Carter in a game against the Sacramento Kings last April. McCaw landed hard on his back and was stretchered off the court.
It was the immediate aftermath of the fall that haunted McCaw — he lost sensation in his legs and initially feared the worst.
“It put everything into perspective about basketball, about life in general,” McCaw told reporters at his introductory scrum before the Raptors hosted the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. “Looking back on it, it was one of the scariest moments of my life. Things could be a lot different for me right now. I’m just so appreciative that things went the right way for me.”
Now, he is working on putting that moment behind him, the same way he’s trying to move on from an agent contract saga earlier this season that left him in limbo until last week, when the Cleveland Cavaliers signed him to an offer sheet the Warriors did not match. The Cavs waived McCaw after just three games, his only three outings of the season, making him an unrestricted free agent.
McCaw said has no hard feelings toward the Warriors, where he spent his first two seasons and won two championships.
“It was just a personal decision for me to move on,” McCaw said. “I loved my time there. The organization, coaches, players all helped me grow and develop as a young man coming in at 21 years old to the NBA. There was no better situation for me to learn and grow. It’s no bad blood, it’s nothing but love for Golden State and what they did for me.”
McCaw focused on developing his overall game while he was working out alone: passing, playmaking, ball handling and shooting. The Raptors reached out to him after he was waived by Cleveland and McCaw said he didn’t consider going anywhere else.