Hey man, long time no talk. So I was thinking about this NBA lockout and stuff, and I asked myself from a Raptors POV, who should “win” this battle? The owners or the players. Then I realized that’s not the question a Raptor fan should be asking themselves, the question that should be raised is whether the current system is working. And by working I mean is it doing the Raptors any good. And when I say the Raptors I mean the fans, not the franchise. And by franchise I mean the fat cats at MLSE. And by the fat cats…
Answer is simple: no. The Raptors have been crappy and are becoming increasingly crappier under the current CBA, they’ve had a nice moment here and there (*swooons thinking of Chris Childs*), but by and large, they’ve been quite shit for most of their sixteen year existence. When I hear murmurs of an overhaul of the current system which would see more teams become competitive, I can’t help but like the idea, even if I don’t fully understand its repercussions. Maybe I’m falling for the owners’ sales pitch, but maybe we just don’t have any choice but to try something different.
Throughout our tenures as Raptors fans, we’ve repeatedly been told how the club will always be at a disadvantage for some reason or the other (Canada, weather, taxes, how shit TSN is, etc.), and even though we haven’t deconstructed those myths either way, the general evidence (i.e. wins) stands to accuse the current NBA climate for not being ideal for harvesting any wins north of the border. Or for that matter in many other markets like Minnesota, Sacramento and Mordor. It would be considered hasty to to say that it’s the NBA’s operational model that’s holding the Raptors back, and not mismanagement on the part of the front office, but we’ve exhausted all conversations concerning the latter, so let the former serve as the hypothesis:
The Raptors would be better off if the NBA’s operational model was “different”.
Here’s the “proof”:
In 16 years, we’ve won one playoff round, have made the playoffs five times, and a return to the post-season doesn’t appear to be on the horizon for quite some time. We haven’t been able to successfully retain most of our best players, and seem to be starting over every year. I can take this train of thought and fill up five paragraphs, but you get it, right? Anything is better than the present, and if that anything is a different salary structure, operational model, or economic scheme, you would think there’s a good chance it’ll be for the better, at least from the Raptors fans’ perspective.
I know, I know, it’s simplistic thinking, but that’s all there’s left to do at this point. The models presented by the league and the players union are speculative and created to push their respective agendas, and not necessarily to elucidate to how they affect the players, teams, fans, and employees of the NBA. Basing how the Raptors will fare under these models is a tough task, and high on speculation and assumptions. That’s why I’ve reverted to the aforementioned plain thinking.
They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I say if its broken, do something. Anything.