The newest member of the Toronto Raptors stepped up to the podium following shootaround on Friday and formally introduced himself.
“I’m Mickael Pietrus, 10-year vet,” Mickael Pietrus said. “I’m excited to be a Raptor. Good to know you guys.”
Well, we’ll see how long that lasts.
The 30-year-old swingman, who hails from France, has been signed to a contract by the stumbling National Basketball Association team.
And after taking the floor for the first time with his new teammates Friday morning for an hour-long workout, Pietrus can expect to see some game action Friday night against the Phoenix Suns at Air Canada Centre.
That’s how desperate these Raptors are, mired in a six-game losing streak, their record an abysmal 3-13 on a season that started with so much promise.
Injuries to Landry Fields and Alan Anderson necessitated the signing of the free agent, who played in 42 games last season for the Boston Celtics.
Pietrus said he just found out a couple of days ago that the Raptors might be interested in his services, and the feeling was mutual.
“And obviously I’m French and it’s great for me that they speak French here, too,” he said. “Hopefully you guys can speak French, too.”
Pietrus, 6-foot-6 and 215-pounds, has shot .357 from three-point range in his NBA career and has averaged 8.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 21.5 minutes in 538 career games.
“I’m just here, I’m a new player,” Pietrus said when asked how he might help the team. “To me, I feel like I just got traded.
“It’s a new system for me, just try to learn from it and give it my best.”
Forward Andrea Bargnani, who missed Wednesday’s game in Memphis with a sore ankle, worked out with the team Friday morning.
Coach Dwane Casey said it will be a game-time decision if the 7–footer will be in Friday night’s lineup.