Kyrie Irving

The Team

Just about where I thought they would be. Sure, like always, they tease us a bit like a stripper with nice looking breasts, but then reality sets in when you look under the hood and things just flop out. My only worry is the toll the extended losing streak(s) are taking on the young guys. Sure they are smart kids and know the team just can’t keep up, but at the same time nobody likes losing and in this age of BBM, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, etc, you gotta know they are hearing it from their buddies. Just like you and I have to defend our love for this team to our sarcastic buddies, the players have to do it with professional ballers. Not the type of environment you want to be in.

 

Bryan Colangelo

Never have been a fan, never will be a fan, but where do we go? I’ll accept the argument that we have never been great because we have never gone into the tax. However, the buzz was he was told to make things right the past two years and if opportunities presented themselves that this team would go into that sacred ground. Where are we? Simple: a year after Bryan constructs what amounts to be a mini-version of his fantasy team with all his boys from the yard, we get to see Bayless, Weems, and a bunch of “well, you’re the only guy left, so we’ll take you” irregulars become regulars. The less than funny part of this is we are riding these guys into a lockout season where chances are good we will see less money being thrown around. Say what you will but BC loves to overspend on average talent and that is what has burned us. Giving this guy potentially less money to use on a shrinking talent pool will have us needing to hit the panic button. Bryan has never made this team better via the draft and has never had a trade that has turned into a slam dunk. Your name alone will not win you games.

 

DeMar DeRozan

Robbed my ass. Look, whenever you enter something as an underdog (and the league laughs at you by assigning a guy as your coach that is well over the hill and has no connection to the youth movement) you need to come out all guns ablazing. You should know this since it’s the second year in a row for you being under the lights. It’s no secret that the crowd, the judges, and the talking heads on TV eat gimmicks up like they were grilled cheese sandwiches at 4am. So what do you do for your first dunk? You bring out a teammate who couldn’t pass the ball to a wide open horse in a field that was 10 feet away from him on a sunny day with no wind to bounce the ball to you off the basket? Really? Nobody else was available? I know you guys hang out and play video games together like you are 12 year olds, but this is something being watched worldwide and being done in your hometown. You come up with THAT? Maybe if you hit it on your first attempt you’d deserve a higher mark and move on, but as you kept attempting it, all people thought was this is the first dunker of the night and what the hell are we in for?  Your second dunk got the love it deserved, but too late. If you want to be the steak, you have to bring some sizzle. DeMar brought none.  Oh, and for the record, Blake dunked across a car, not over it.

 

In Game Experience

Nobody, and I mean nobody, is happier that 4Korners is gone than I am. That said, the Raptors game experience still needs tweaking. I still feel like I’m watching a game from within a commercial. I come in the building and am visually assaulted by a video wall running ads, I get handed material pushing a team sponsor, I go to my seat and see rotating ads all around me, I turn to the screen for replays to see a logo in the corner….it’s just too much. I realize corporate sponsorship is where it’s at and it’s free money for every sports team, but leave the fans who purchased your tickets with hard earned money some sort of space. Even the entertainment has dropped. The Dance Pak is ugly as sin, they barely dance, and have been relegated to dressing like strippers and standing in the aisles behind a backboard for the late stretches of games. Not nearly as many fun and different contests on the court and the halftime shows are repetitive and dull. If you are going to whore yourselves out to sponsors, put some of that money back into rewarding the 11,000 people that are standing by you by giving them value. We understand the team will get better, but will the experience?

 

Jack Armstrong

Where would we be without this guy? I’m sure he is one of the lowest paid on air guys yet he brings it every night. We’ve needed to laugh during the games this year and outside of laughing at Leo for sport, Armstrong has made every game he’s on seem like a moral victory. You factor in how often he is travelling, his age, and having to work with a guy with the personality of a sloth and Jack deserves to be the first Raptor associated employee to have his image and name hung from the rafters.

 

AllStar Weekend In Toronto

Richard Peddie has always been against this since it displaces season seat holders. I support him in that. When I was a season seat holder I was always against having the game come here knowing I’d be moved from my sweet lower bowl seat up to the upper bowl and even then that would be lucky since it would be by lottery. Now, however, with Peddie leaving and the season ticket base (and attendance in general) being so poor, a visit from AllStar would be welcomed. You can use Ricoh Coliseum and Direct Energy Centre for the fluffy stuff and ACC for the main acts. Maple Leaf Square would be great for a central hub of activity. MLSE would be happy with the money coming in being all theirs, the league gets the focus of an entire country and it could come at a time when DeRozan, Davis, etc are coming into their own. This city always does “big” well. The world knows it. It’s time to start the ball rolling to bring the main feature of the regular NBA season to a city that would welcome it, revel in it and support it.