…in nickname rankings. That’s your Raptors headline story for the day.

I was going to do a big spiel about how crazy Raptors fans are and how we should all try to get along despite our differences and opinions. It seems Raptors nation is split on our off-season and any point of view supporting an argument is quickly rejected by the other party. It makes for some good conversation but after 3 1/2 months a lot of the arguments get redundant to the point of eye-rolling. The dissent that exists in Raptors nation is a little sad to see. Or at least it was until I was reminded of the great Chinese sage Confucius who said:

When everybody says things are right, something is very wrong.

Aah, who knew you could get a dose of philosophy in this space. Point is that despite people questioning each others’ sexual orientation in debate and referring to each other as genital organs when discussing Andrea Bargnani’s effectiveness, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just humbly request that an argument is somewhat supported by some facts other than the accusations mentioned above.

Our boy Mike Ulmer interviewed Raptors strength and conditioning coach Keith D’Amelio and asked him some inane questions. I was hoping he’d ask him what Andrea Bargnani’s situation was because by the looks of it he had gained a few pounds. No such luck there, instead we find Ulmer suggesting the Raptors eat hemp hearts and husked hemp seeds, he’s basically one step away from recommending pre-game weed.

Training camp starts around September 29th with our first pre-season game being on October 7th at Cleveland. You can check out the pre-season schedule here which takes us all across North America. From the East coast to Moscow to the Mid-West to the West coast and then to Western Canada and finally home. Last year when you asked the Celtics what was the turning point of the season, many pointed to their European trip in the pre-season as being crucial since it allowed them to gel together as a team. I don’t have any such expectations of the Raptors but you have to wonder whether Sam Mitchell can integrate 5 new players into the team. I’m sure having no system actually helps in this case.

Of course we’ll talk a lot more about training camp as it approaches but its imperative that we establish a rhythm early on, especially concerning Bosh/O’Neal/Bargnani usage.

The Fan House has a video of Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard sitting on a bus as Bosh makes the “Hoowaaard, Hoowaaard” chant from the playoffs. Didn’t know you could do that when you lost the playoff series.

Later.

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