Nigerian basketball ex-international, Masai Ujiri has signed a contract extension with Toronto Raptors of Canada, in a deal that will now see him supervise two top posts in the squad, megasportsarena.com reports.
The new deal means Ujiri will double as president and vice-chairman in the former champions of USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA), as they seek a revival ahead of next season.
A report out of God’s Own Country revealed that Ujiri has agreed terms of ‘the big deal’ that will see him stay in Toronto and become vice chairman, along with his current role as team president.
This is despite the fact that several NBA teams and in other leagues reportedly have made overtures to Ujiri since he put together The Raptors’ heroic team that won the 2018/19 NBA title.
The 51-year-old icon, who was raised in Nigeria, started his front office career with The Raptors in 2007 and rose through the NBA ranks.
He was named 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year after moving on to the Denver Nuggets, who set a team record with 57 wins that season and had a league-best 38-3 home record.
On May 31, 2013, the Raptors named Ujiri president and general manager of basketball operations.
The Raptors finished the 2020-21 season with a 27-45 record and out of the playoffs. Because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The report adds that Ujiri will remain the leader of the Toronto-baed side after committing to the team and the city in a video released Thursday on social media.
While the video did not make a reference to his contract status, multiple outlets reported he will sign a big deal to stay in Toronto and become vice chairman and team president.
He also referenced other goals, which include expanding the game through NBA Africa and continuing the fight for racial and gender equality.
Although they have not played a home game in Toronto since March 2020, while choosing Tampa, Florida their home last season, Ujiri is now plotting better fortunes in the coming campaign.
Ujiri enthused: “I’ve said it before, and I am saying it again: We will win in Toronto. On the court, our goal is clear: Win. It’s simple: Win. Bring another championship to Toronto.
“We are united in that mission and nothing else will do. We will bring young talent to this city and continue to build with our unbelievable players.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead this team. I love being the leader of the Toronto Raptors and I’m here to stay.”