Toronto Raptors

Tristan Thompson believes Myck Kabongo's journey back to the NBA isn't over just yet

#Myck Kabongo

Myck Kabongo kicked off his sixth pro season and first with the Raptors 905 posting five points and four assists in 12 minutes off the bench in the team's 126-125 season-opening win over the Delaware Blue Coats.

It's just the latest chapter in Kabongo's basketball journey, getting the opportunity to now play in a place he calls home.

Something that didn't go unnoticed by fellow Canadian and long-time friend in the NBA Tristan Thompson.

Although a year younger, Kabongo came up and went through the same journey that Thompson and Cory Joseph went through with the same goal in mind - to make the NBA. Thompson and Joseph realized that dream in the 2011 NBA Draft going fourth and 29th respectively with Kabongo expecting to join them the following year - that never happened, but Thompson believes the story isn't over yet for the once heralded prospect.

"It's definitely been tough," Thompson told "If you've followed me, Myck and Cory we were kind of like the three amigos. All playing for Grassroots and having success at the AAU level and then all of us committing to Texas.

"Obviously, me and Cory leaving after one year and Myck de-committing and going back you know his journey has been kind of more difficult than mine and Cory's but at the end of the day everyone has their own path."

Kabongo averaged 12.6 points, 6.8 assists per 40 minutes in his freshmen season at Texas. His sophomore season was cut short after having to sit out a 23 game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits from an agent. He ended up playing in 11 games that season putting up decent numbers but never really fulfilled the promise he had coming in as a freshman in his two years at Texas. In 2013 he entered the draft but his stock had already been compromised with the suspension and inconsistency in his play - he went undrafted.

No one has ever questioned Kabongo's talent but he fell victim to the harsh reality of the NBA - sometimes the margin for error is so small, sometimes it's a matter of timing whether you're in the league or not and sometimes a lot of it is out of your control.

Since the 2013 draft, Kabongo has spent time in the G-League and playing pro ball in Romania, Mexico, Spain and France.

Now the 26-year-old has a chance to continue the grind back to prominence with the Raptors 905, a team that's known around the league for player development and that's something Thompson sees as a plus for one of his Longhorn amigos.

"I think for him to go overseas and kind of just recalibrate his mind and kind of re-focus it's going to be great for his development," Thompson continued. "For him to be able to get a chance to do it now with the Raptors 905 is great."

"My advice to him is to absorb the opportunity it's about continuing to learn and work. Take it one day at a time…obviously, everyone wants to play in the NBA but I think if you handle what's in front of you first you'll get your chance when your name is called."

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