1:52pm: A Raptors media spokesperson has said Charania’s report is “not correct,” tweets Lori Ewing of The Canadian Press. Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link) has heard the matter is still being discussed internally, but notes that reporting from his colleague Charania is rarely inaccurate.
The incident took place Sunday in Cleveland as Toronto players were leaving the court after an 11-point defeat that pushed the team’s losing streak to eight games. It’s now at nine after another double-digit loss Monday in Houston.
Siakam directed “several choice words” toward his coach, multiple sources tell Charania. He didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter of the Cleveland game, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports, with Nurse keeping him on the bench as the Raptors tried to stage a comeback.
This has been a difficult season for the Raptors, who have fallen to 17-26 and are in danger of dropping out of playoff contention in the East. Siakam was an All-Star last season and continues to be productive at 19.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, but his outburst is an indication that tempers are short in the locker room.
“It ain’t no secret, we’ve gotta play defense and we’ve gotta play better,” Kyle Lowry told Doug Smith of The Toronto Star after Monday’s game. “It’s literally no secret to it, like I swear. I wish I could give you guys some other magical answer, but it’s literally no Groundhog Day. Every game’s different and we’re just not playing hard enough and we’re not playing well enough.”