Morning Coffee

Toronto Raptors Morning Coffee July 6

The Raptors organization is one of the few that makes a nice profit despite their perennial bottom-feeder status.

Toronto Sports Fanatic

The Raptors organization is one of the few that makes a nice profit despite their perennial bottom-feeder status, so I’m sure the board at MLSE is none too pleased to see an entire season go to waste – especially if the rumours are true for any impending sale of the teams. However, with the continued financial success of the Leafs and the hundreds of other projects undertaken by MLSE, ownership can afford to fight alongside their brethren until a favourable deal is reached with the Player’s Association.

As for the team and players this is pretty much a lose-lose situation. The Player’s Association – like that of the NHL’s – is going to have to give back a lot. Salary rollbacks, a hard or flex cap, player amnesties, and lower max years and money for contracts all seem like an inevitability. Also, with one of the youngest teams in the league and the inability for players and coaches to interact, an entire season of development would be lost for the likes of Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless, and Demar Derozan. It is up to the players to stay in shape and find ways to work on their games during the lockout – something I’m sure management discussed thoroughly with the players before the lockout began.

Wages of Wins


Michael Redd and Yao Ming make an appearance at the top of this one. Toronto fans please note, Bargnani is the only player in the top 7 who was not traded or catastrophically injured.

The Score

By this breakdown, the Raptors came in 27th in the league in terms of the dollars spent in comparison to the wins produced.

In my earlier post on Jonas Valanciunas, I said we wouldn’t needlessly throw Andrea Bargnani under the bus –and we won’t– but what happens when we’re looking at information like this? It’s not pretty, that’s for sure.

Somehow, this doesn’t entirely shock me. And at the exact same time, it blows my mind.

As I said this morning, there’s plenty of room aboard the bandwagon for #TeamJonas.

Seriously though, this is where I hope in earnest that this is the season Bargnani puts the pieces together. He’s too talented to not, right? Okay, maybe not. If Toronto fans know anything, they know that talent and potential don’t mean anything without heart. Come on, Bargnani. If not now, when?

The Score

The fact that the 19-year-old Lithuanian big man was apparently “crying and punching walls” after the loss shows his competitive spirit and intense desire to win, but may also come across as wildly mentally unstable. Instead, I’ll go with Paulie’s theory, which should spell disaster for whoever takes on the role of “Clubber Lang,” as Valanciunas’ next opponent.

Whether Jonas Valanciunas really does go all Rambo on us and eventually starts leaving bodies by the wayside of NBA courts remains to be seen, but one thing we can say for certain is that despite never living in North America, his English is already better than Sylvester Stallone’s.


The lockout leaves us with so many interesting things to blog about, doesn’t it?

The Score

In short: I’m excited. I’m so excited to see this young, hungry, player who wants so badly to play under the bright lights of the NBA. Of course, with this excitement, comes the news that Valanciunas won’t be here in Toronto for another season, but at this point, that’s cool. Let him get bigger, stronger and a year older. Hopefully we’ll have a season to watch the rest of the Raptors roster develop while he does his thing overseas, but if not, we’ll be eagerly awaiting his debut and tracking his progress next season. The Jonas Valanciunas hype-machine has been turned on and set to high and I don’t expect it to be dialed down anytime soon.

As of today, Valancuinas might just be named the MVP of the Under-19 World Championship. He’s currently leading in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots with 21.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game. This is impressive stuff, even if it is against under-19 competition.

Get excited, Raptors fans. It’s okay. If we’re let down, we’re let down. I don’t think this guy is going to let us down because of a lack of effort or pride. I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Join me, why don’t you?

Toronto Star

Though NBA clubs are currently barred from having contact with players, it’s safe to say the Toronto front office would be in favour of Weems playing in Europe; while the club is hardly sold on Weems as a long-term contributor to the cause, newly installed coach Dwane Casey is said to be intrigued by Weems’s potential as a defensive specialist with considerable scoring punch. Weems could raise his NBA stock if he shows the maturity required to thrive in Europe.

Certainly playing basketball in Lithuania beats, say, playing craps in Las Vegas. Should the lockout drag on, NBA players will need an outlet for their energies — not to mention a place to maintain their skill sets.

Kobe Bryant and his agent are reportedly in the early stages of assembling a group of NBAers to embark on a potentially lucrative tour of exhibition games in China; a similar idea is said to be in the hopper of the Wasserman Media Group, whose clients include Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Russell Westbrook.

The nascent National Basketball League of Canada is even attempting to capitalize on a potentially idle workforce, sending out a press release on Tuesday inviting locked-out NBAers to consider running with one of its franchises. And while some observers may see that prospect as a stretch — NBA players earn average salaries of about $6 million (U.S.) while the NBL recently announced a salary cap of $150,000 for each 10- to 12-man roster — perhaps the limits of the imagination will inspire players with NBA resumés to come north, even for a relative pittance.

As one NBA insider said: “There’s only so much you can do working out alone in a gym with pylons.”

New York Times

“Ticket revenues … are up 22% compared to 1999-2000 season”

¶ Ticket revenues have increased 12% over the 10 year period, not the 22% reported.

“17 teams lost money according to Forbes … Most of these losses were small…”

¶ Forbes’s claim is inaccurate. In 2009-10, 23 teams had net income losses. The losses were in no way “small” as 11 teams lost more than $20M each on a net income basis.

“The profits made by the Knicks, Bulls and Lakers alone would be enough to cover the losses of all 17 unprofitable teams.”

¶ The Knicks’, Bulls’ and Lakers’ combined net income for 2009-10 does not cover the losses of the 23 unprofitable teams. Our net loss for that year, including the gains from the seven profitable teams, was -$340 million.

“Forbes’s estimates – a $183 million profit for the NBA in 2009-10, and those issued by the league, which claim a $370M loss…”

¶ Forbes’s data is inaccurate. Our losses for 2009-10 were -$340 million, not -$370 million as the article states.

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