“If you lose the last game of the season, nobody gives a s$@t.”

Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, Moneyball

So the Raptors did what Brad Pitt’s character could never do, in their win against the Celtics last night. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what he actually had in mind.

It was fanapalooza night and the fans were treated to a good old fashioned blow-out. And while I have often criticized Raptor fans for being too emotional and too wrapped up in the moment, but I’ve also defended them as being among the most loyal in the NBA. And the most vocal.

Some sports writers, who shall remain nameless, will often throw out a Raptor comment knowing they get a lot of response from fans.

You go to any NBA forum and the Raptor boards are always the busiest.

This year, the Raptors had the 13th highest attendance in the league. And while that may not sound like much to be proud of, keep in mind that every team ahead of them had a better record, and either were in the playoffs this year or made the playoffs last year. The Raptors haven’t made the playoffs for the last 5 years.

That’s loyalty.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors

Speaking of the fans, there have been a number of comments on this site criticizing the writers here, including me, for being too negative. Some feel we should write more positive stories. Personally, I’ve always felt I simply wrote what I saw, whether positive or negative (and really, if I’m so negative, why did my prediction for the season fall one win short ?). With the team missing the playoffs for the 5th straight year, and a team that many feel is built for mediocrity, I think many of us can be forgiven if the “negative” outweighs the “positive” because that’s a reflection of the team. The team won 34 games for the season and were out of the playoff hunt almost a month ago. If it wasn’t for the Raptors taking advantage of a few playoff teams who treated the last few games as nothing more than an exhibition season, the Raptors might have ended up with the same winning percentage as last year, despite adding $20 million in salary and three “core” players to the team.

And then I really listened to Matt Devlin and Leo Rautins talk during the game.

If you listen to any Raptor commentator, and take what they are saying to heart, reading what any other Raptor writer, outside of Doug Smith, has to say would probably be jarring. You see, the Raptor commentators are Raptor employees. When Michael Grange was interviewing Bryan Colangelo, in the halftime feature, this was an employee interviewing his boss.

They HAVE to say positive things about the team or else they’ll be fired.


That’s why you heard Leo Rautins refer to Andrea Bargnani as a workable asset that has trade value, and not the unwieldy contract that will be nearly impossible to move.

That’s why they kept talking up the Rudy Gay trade as if it was such a great move for the team, and not a panic move that is meant to save Colangelo’s job. The organization knows the criticism being levelled at them, and they have an avenue to dispute it without argument.

Of course, there was a game last night, and while Boston came into it with the same level of interest as the Hawks and Bulls before them, the Raptors did have the professionalism to give their fans a good send off.

There wasn’t really a Raptors that didn’t play well, but the player of the game was probably Jonas Valanciunas, who finished the night with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. As usual, he got to the line and played hard every minute he was on the court.


In one sequence, Valanciunas beat every other player up the court to catch a lob from Kyle Lowry for a fast break dunk. If anyone is worried that the Raptors playing a faster pace is not conducive to playing Valanciunas, I suggest you watch this play.

One interesting moment. After a play where Valanciunas fouled Shavlik Randolph, first John Lucas approaches him to explain why it was a foul, and then Alan Anderson. A good sign that his teammates want to help him, and that he’s open to their help.

While Valanciunas had another good game, teams are obviously starting to scout him. All four of his turnovers were due to Boston doubling him and either taking the ball from him or making him pass it. Next year is going to be a big adjustment as teams start sending double teams at him.

Another of Valanciunas’ weaknesses is his penchant for fouling, which is normal for rookie big men. After his second foul in the first quarter, Dwane Casey, as usual took him out. One criticism I’ve had of Casey all year long, is he’s too by-the-book when it comes to removing players with fouls.

It was the last game of the year. Wouldn’t it be a good time to let Valanciunas play with two fouls and see how reacts? What’s the worst that can happen? He gets another foul and sits the rest of the half.


While it’s obvious the Raptors played well, one issue I have with them is the number of times they take a quick three early in the clock. Last night, many of them went in, but that’s hurt them a lot over the course of the season. When you’re hot, that shot is fine. When you’re not, it can be a killer.

I could talk more about the game, but whether you like it or not, it was a meaningless game to finish off a pretty meaningless season. While ending the season going 7-1 might seem like a great thing, how a team plays at the end of a season generally has no bearing on how they do the next season. Worst of all, though, if there was any question before about whether MLSE would pick up Colangelo’s option, this probably seals the deal. And that’s not good news for any Raptor fans that care about building a REAL winning team.

So with the season over for the Raptors, I suggest that everyone watch as much playoff basketball as possible this spring. And make this past season a memory.

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  • XG

    All in all, a few quality wins from earlier in the season and we would have had the privilege of dealing with Miami. This team somehow made a step forward (or the East took a step back). Rudy is Rudy, and DeMar is Demar, but the great investments in JV and Ross, the stable emergence of Amir, and Lowry sorting out his inner demons to get back to “comfortable” can get this club back into the playoffs next year and if the core remains, I can see us competing for higher seeds the year after.

    • Copywryter

      Change a few of the names around and this is what Raptors fans say year after year. It is a regurgitation of the Leafs Mantra – there’s always next year.

  • Daniel Burk

    Don’t worry about people saying you guys are “too negative”. Anyone with an objective view of this team has to be fairly negative. Here are the positives: Jonas, Amir, and perhaps some encouraging late season play from DeMar. Negatives? No playoffs for 5 years, no draft pick this summer, burdensome contracts that can’t be traded (Andrea, Landry, even Rudy’s contract should be considered ridiculous), no All Star on the team, and no potential All Star in sight. How does this team improve? What is the plan? Anyone who is upbeat on this team is simply delusional.

    • There are definitely some positives, but Colangelo has had to burden the team with so many bad contracts just to build a team that MIGHT make the playoffs. He’s like the magician who pulls out all his big stops just to keep the audience interested, that when the finale comes, he’s got nothing left.

    • well now that rudy is on a team with no allstars one can say that he will be one next year since hes not playing with guys named marc gasol and zach randolph.Demar is playin at another level and rudy and demar showed clearly that they will thrive together next season.ya bargs contract is ridic but comin. jonas is a beast amir played great all season long!and landry has gottin a little better!ya his contract his ridic as well but you need a bench in this league and last time i checked msle has a shitload of$ to spend!why not spend it!!none of thes playeres even played a full year together!im and will always be optimistic of my raps!win or loose!i still watch every game and enjoy a franchise here in canada!

  • cesco

    If playing over .500 in the last 59 games of the year ( 30-29 ) isn’t a positive sign for the future of this team , I don’t know what it is . They will fight for the 7-8th spot for the next two years for sure .

    • sleepz

      I thought you said they were going to make the playoffs this past season?

      • sleepz

        Judging by the broadcast last night (Matt and Leo particularly) this has to be the greatest 50 loss team in the history of sports!

        • WhiteVegas

          Well, they did fucking demolish the Celtics. Late season games aren’t as competitive, but the Raps looked fantastic and did what a good team should do against lesser players and destroyed them.

          • sleepz

            So what? You put stock into late season games? Spurs have lost 7 out of the last 10. Before that it took them almost 40 games to lose that many. Are they falling off or not concerned about meaningless end of season games?
            Putting too much stock into late season results is dangerous. Raps have gone on these type of runs in previous years and when it’s all said and done, means nothing. Win games when they matter, not when the season has already been decided.

          • No Garnett, No Rondo. No Jason Terry. Pierce played 14 minutes, Jeff Green 17 minutes. Their starting lineup included Chris Wilcox, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley. Great! The Raptors trounced a .500 team that didn’t care at the end of the season.

            Keep in mind that before their little winning streak against playoff teams that had obviously stopped caring about the regular season, the Raptors were 4-19 against Eastern Conference playoff teams.

          • FLUXLAND

            Delusion of the highest order. These last games were about selling season tickets for next year, nothing more or less. Anyone claiming otherwise is between the ages of ten and eleventeen.

            • DumbassKicker

              I’m happy to see you aspire to greater things and that you recognize that the next step, 10-11 year old mindset, is within your grasp,,,, soon I hope. Don’t worry, it won’t be too long before you’re able to recognize that athletes that reach the highest levels of their sport aren’t simply motivated to sell tickets when they step on the court against an opponent.

              • FLUXLAND

                I agree, they are not. They have guaranteed contracts, ticket sales are of none of their concern – they are focused on promoting themselves to secure future contracts (by minding their stats), off the court endorsements, and showcasing for other teams. Wins and loses are residual for all, barring the very few players in the entire L.

                What I do recognize is players doing exactly those things, during a stretch of the season when those residual results cannot be interpreted as any sign of positive progress. And the “fake wins” (remember those? When you told us rebounding is meaningless and the team is “winning”) allow the regime to push season tickets with talks of only better things to come.

            • your retarded

        • smh

          “the greatest 50 loss team in the history of sports!” haha, I enjoyed that

      • cesco

        The disaster of the first 23 games was too much to overcome . I can’t see it happening again . The team right now is superior to the team they had at the start of the season and they finished just 4 games out of the playoffs .

        • sleepz

          The ‘disaster’ of the start of the season that everyone seems to try and distance themselves from is just as important and menaingful as the last 60 games.
          You can’t erase games in this league.
          This team is exactly what it’s record says it is. No excuse can change that.

          • WhiteVegas

            They are less meaningful because they happened with a significantly different roster. How that goes over your head is beyond me. We subtracted Jose and Ed, and added Gay. JV also got loads better throughout the year. Remember that he started from game 1 and his defense was more or less shit at the beginning of the year.

            • sleepz

              Does this go over your head?

              How can anyone use the argument that they were over .500 for the last 60 games as a means to show how good this team is currently?
              Didn’t they acheive a significant portion of those wins with Jose Calderon and Ed Davis on the roster? These games get counted but the early season games don’t?
              Check the stats bro. Don’t use them selectively

              • WhiteVegas

                We are 17-16 with Gay. Still over .500. Maybe you should have checked the stats before you started spouting off.

                • sleepz

                  WV, you were the one in your posts claiming that after the start they were a .500 team. Gay wasn’t on the team at that time. If you want to bring up their record with Gay alone, fine, it still means very little considering they racked up a bunch of useless wins at the end of the year.

                  The issue I have though is in your other posts you want to bring up the fact that “As noted below, the Raptors have a winning record over the last 59 games, and a winning record since the addition of Gay.”
                  Those are your words. My problem is discounting the start of the season games because they were losing and don’t fit your argument, but hanging onto other wins without Gay being on the team. Are you going to say you didn’t insinuate that?
                  Being selecetive on the stats is what I called you out on.
                  If your going to step up, get the facts straight.

                • Do you think there’s maybe a better, more mature way to say that? Most people here seem to be able to be respectful with their comments, but you are one of the few who seems to have trouble with that.

            • CJT

              Disagree with you on this one. the team is the team and despite mid season moves the first part of the season has to be looked at with the same amount of importance as the rest. If the play from the trade forward has made you feel more hopeful about the future that is great, but the team as constructed certainly underperformed for the first quarter of the season.

        • FLUXLAND

          Really? Maybe you should look at some other starts? 13 – 27 in 2010 / 12- 28 in 2011 / this year. You’re right, def can’t see that happening again.

          • Guy

            Your comparing the rosters in 2010, which remained unchanged & went 22-60, to the roster they have now? Yea, really relevant.

            • FLUXLAND

              Shocking I know, But guess what hasn’t changed – BC. Until that changes, there is absolute zero reason to think things will be different. Keep you eye out for the roster tweaks that are coming and brace yourself for the “gelling period”.

              • Guy

                Interesting that BC’s roster tweaks when he first arrived that resulted in a 20 win turnaround & the team’s first ever division title are never referenced. But, silly me. Why would anyone so intent on whining acknowledge anything positive.

                • FLUXLAND

                  You are referencing the Titanic Division Title? Really? Silly you are, indeed.

          • CJT

            I think with either of those starts and the record we had for the remaining part of the season we probably make the playoffs though. Anything is possible and I am not prepared to say that it won’t happen again because that is foolish, but I think as the team has started to play together more they are starting to figure it out a bit.

            • FLUXLAND

              Problem is in the fact that we see that every year and then people will add “all we need now is a full training camp”. There’s absolutley zero reason to believe next year will be any different; knowing BC there will be more roster changes and then we’re talking about gelling.. and round and round we go.. year in and year out. It’s madness, to say the least.

              • DumbassKicker

                From another perspective, madness is someone whining about the same thing for years and keeps coming back to whine, with no alternatives being offered, about the same things that others here have heard from him a 1000 times, with no reason to believe it will ever be different. Madness, to say the least.

                • Copywryter

                  Equally, madness is coming back to bleat about and cheer for the same shibboleths year after year:

                  We just need a full camp
                  We just need chemistry
                  It’s not the talent
                  Player X is going to have a breakout year
                  Player Y is going to be an all-star
                  Player Z is the future of the franchise (despite strong evidence to the contrary)
                  We’ll make the playoffs next year and then win a land war in Asia the year after that.

                • DumbassKicker

                  feel better now?

                • FLUXLAND

                  Interesting perspective, yet in your true fashion, wrong. Alternatives? Even if I chose to offer them, they are futile and irrelevant with the exception of fantasy discussion, nor would it change the fact I am asking for change. Madness? No, madness is what is going right now… a fan-base conditioned by the regime through the media, to believe they should be grateful that there’s a team in town, to accept the ownership yearly incompetence as “unlucky” breaks in the “complex” world of basketball and to feel that by not supporting the team in the “approved” fashion is the actual reason behind the teams performance.

                  Basically, your agenda on here.

                • DumbassKicker

                  Damn, you’ve uncovered the conspiracy,,, and my complicity in it!! I hope not too many are listening 🙁

                • CJT

                  People need to take responsibility for their own beliefs. I find it hard to believe that many are being “brainwashed” or “conditioned” to believe anything. People who want to believe will believe those who don’t won’t. Is it not the franchises goal to sell tickets and merch? What exactly do you expect them to say at the conclusion of the season? And when BC does speak honestly about the team underperforming, he is ridiculed for throwing the coach and the players under the bus. The reality is that the coach and the players did underperform for the first 25 games and then at times throughout the season as well. You really can’t have it both ways.

              • CJT

                I agree that there is no proof that the team will be better, but there also isn’t any proof that it won’t. I thought that Lowry started to get it in the last month and I think he was a big part of the problem for the majority of the year. That doesn’t guarantee anything I grant you, I just hope it leads to better. I also think Val has grown a lot over the course of the season and hope that he will become an important part of the offense and defence.

                • FLUXLAND

                  All of these things may come true for the individual players, what worries us few is the expense of team losses. As was the case at the start of the year, you have a lot of players with things to “prove” and they all need the ball to prove it. That is not conducive to chemistry or a winning formula in any way; as winning teams require success bred out of sacrifice; not the Bryan Colangelo “if you add ’em all up on paper” method that leaves fans hoping every player is firing at all cylinders every night, for a chance at a win.

                • DumbassKicker

                  lmao,,, I should have tried this sooner. After a nice couple of hits of scotch, you can be funny.

                • CJT

                  I see what you are saying and agree that BC has done that frequently. Not sure that most teams don’t do that to some degree though especially ones with out a true franchise play or elite star talent. I think you have to roll the dice on talent meshing together well because there really is no way to know until they do play together if they will gel. I think both Demar and Rudy have to become a bit less selfish with their touches and learn to pass to an open teammate. The Raps have always played well when they move the ball alot to create open looks.

    • Copywryter

      Being a 7th-8th seed team with no cap and no picks is not positive.

      • WhiteVegas

        1.) We have picks next year.
        2.) For a team that has missed the playoffs 5 straight years, a 7-8 seed can only be considered a positive.
        3.) How far exactly up the ladder would the Raptors have to jump for you to take it as a positive? 6 seed? 5 seed? 4 seed? 3 seed? 2 seed? 1 seed? NBA champion? This shit doesn’t happen over night, you go 7-8 seed one year, then expectations are highest the following season.

        • I don’t think you understand why many of us don’t see this as a positive. Simply making the playoffs should not be the goal. Making the playoffs should be a step. The problem is that the team has no stars, is full of bad contracts, and has very few assets to get beyond beyond a team that perennially fights for a playoff spot year after year.

          Maybe that’s a positive to you, but it isn’t to a lot of others.

          • WhiteVegas

            I don’t think you understand that the cap situation changes every year and isn’t static. Contracts aren’t for 100+ years. If we make 7-8 seed next year, then say 6-7 seed in 2014-15. We go into 2015-16 with only JV, DD, and Ross under contract. Do you think a championship contender could be built around a 6 seed consisting of JV, DD, Ross, + whatever draft picks we make between now and then, + whoever we sign with all that cap space? I do, and that’s the way I feel is best to build towards a contender. Getting better each year, progressively. You say making the playoffs is a step, but then you advocate tanking instead of making the playoffs. Which step do you want to take? I’ll go with the step that involves winning basketball and playoff appearances as it is infinitely more enjoyable to watch as a fan.

            • I understand how the salary cap works. But let’s say the team gets to 2015-16 with only Valanciunas, DeRozan and Ross under contract. With the team a 7-8 seed, the draft picks will be in the 15-20 range, so probably not anything of consequence. And since so few teams actually sign anyone of consequence with their cap space, it’s unlikely the Raptors will be able to get anyone better than Rudy Gay or Kyle Lowry, so you’ve basically got the same team with the same core. A core that is good enough to compete, but not make any noise in the playoffs. If you’re happy with that, that’s great. I aim for a little more than that.

              • WhiteVegas

                Could you be any more negative and glass half empty?

                So now you’re marginalizing draft picks (the 15-20 range doesn’t get you good players somehow now????) That’s fucking bullshit and you know it. Here’s a few impact players from the 15-20 range the past few years. Kawhi Leonard, Kenneth Faried, Nikola Vucevic, Iman Shumpert, Larry Sanders, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, Taj Gibson, etc….. Sure, they’re not superstars, but you could make a pretty decent team just choosing from those 15-20 range players, to marginalize players gotten in that range is complete bullshit. They clearly could put a good team over the top.

                In 2015-16, I expect JV to be the starting C in the Eastern Conference All Star game averaging 20 and 10 and hitting a shit ton of FT’s. I expect DD to be averaging 20 pts, 4 rbs, 2 ast. He is almost there now, cleaning up the 3 ball will get him there. I fully expect Ross to develop into an excellent 6th man or starter who plays great defense, hits a bunch of 3’s, and throws it down hard. That’s a pretty damn good base to work with. Add in two 15-20 range 1st round draft picks, and you have 5 players under contract for roughly $20M. The salary cap will likely be around $70M then, so that’s $50M in cap room. We won’t get Lebron, but we sure as shit will be able to get several really good players to complement the players listed above.

                The future is not nearly as bleak as you’d like it to be Tim.

                • I’m talking about reality. The chance of getting an impact player in the lower half of the first round is small. It’s certainly not impossible, but you should never assume it’s going to happen. Especially without great scouting, something the Raptors don’t seem to have. Take a look at this…

                  I do expect Valanciunas to be a very good center. On that we can agree. I don’t know about starting All Star games, but I think it’s probable he’ll make, at least, a couple.

                  As for DeRozan, I can see him averaging 20 ppg, 4 rpg and 2 apg, but what about his defense? What about his offensive efficiency? Or his play late in game? Giving out basic stats says very little about whether a player can be a core player on a contender. Right now DeRozan is the typical scorer on a bad team. He isn’t efficient enough to be a 1,2 or 3 option on a good team, and he doesn’t play good enough defense, or isn’t a good enough 3 point shooter to be a good role player. He’s basically stuck in no man’s land.

                  As for the salary cap situation, it doesn’t necessarily continue to go up, you know. It’s remained pretty stagnant the last four years, and actually went down four years ago.

                  And if the Raptors have that much salary cap space, that means they didn’t re-sign Lowry next season, and didn’t add any more long term contracts between then and now. And you expect them to be a playoff team with a situation like that?

                  Also, cap space doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to get players to sign, despite what Colangelo may be telling you. New Jersey got Travis Outlaw after having enough cap space to sign to max players.

                  And remember that Toronto doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In the summer of 2015-16, the Raptors are projected to have 12 other teams with LOWER payrolls. How many other teams will have a lot of cap space then? And why would Toronto’s situation be attractive to free agents?

                  It’s not that I WANT the future to be bleak. It’s like that all by itself.

                • FLUXLAND

                  WOW. Do you get paid to push this nonsense? “In 2015-16,” – this entire paragraph speaks of someone who has zero concept of how the NBA works or any sort of realty.

                • DumbassKicker

                  “someone who has zero concept of how the NBA works or any sort of realty.”

                  lol, oh the irony

                • sum of theses comments are pathetic!!sum of you have know idea!!its a shame ur even on this site making ridic comments!than dont watch them if all there gona do is loose with the players they have!ya the last 8games meant nothing but if you have any optimimism on how teams evlove the more they play with each other than u dont know basketball!!

                • Guy

                  WhiteVegas…. Stop beating your head against the wall. The message you are trying to convey will never be received or accepted by people that view their opinions as reality & yours as fantasy.

                  These are the same people that say mid-range draft picks rarely yield a player that matters, but will endlessly criticize if one of those picks is traded away. The same people that apparently know that any FA signings & draft picks the team makes in the next 3-4 years wont be any good. The same people that equate your opinion as having low standards & without desire to see the raptors as championship contenders, just because it disagrees with theirs. etc…

                  It’s impossible to argue with these people Whitey, because they believe they have all the answers. Their way is the best way, the only way. But I always take heart in this my friend, the ‘Reality’ they strongly advocate is to tank. That’s the way to be a champion. But, when I look at the list of NBA Champs, I don’t see anyone that tanked their way to a title. Despite this evidence, they still fully endorse relying on a lottery. But you, I & anyone else that disagrees with them are the ones being unrealistic. Go figure.

                • WhiteVegas

                  Thanks Guy. It’s because of fans like you that I keep coming back to this site. Nice to see that not everyone is part of the tank nation vocal minority.

                • i have to agree with you!;)whitey!!

              • Copywryter

                Ladies and gentleman, your 2015-16 Brooklyn Nets.

            • sleepz

              But they haven’t made the playoffs and they won’t next year.
              You’re overestimating their talent and overinflating the teams ceiling.
              I would prefer the Raps end this debacle now so we don’t have to sit through 3-5 more years of team building once it’s realized that this team is weak with a limtied future even under the best case scenario (everyone gets better).

            • smh

              You both have good points. The fear though is that the Raps front office “look” to make this team a perennial playoff contender (just fighting for the last few spots), instead of an actual championship contender.

              Now, I’m with you on that a “7th-8th” spot is good–especially for the casual fan–it might be the only goal of the franchise going forward. Good enough to be a play-off team, not great enough to become a championship contender.

            • Copywryter

              So in your mind, “A 6 seed consisting of JV, DD, Ross, + whatever draft picks we make between now and then + FAs” = a championship contender.

              Your mind is an interesting place.

              I’m not a fan who wants to see decent basketball. I can watch most NBA games for that. I want to see a team that I genuinely believe has the pieces to be an elite team. JV, DD and Ross (Ross????) are not the pieces of an elite team.

              Other than Harden no young elite pieces jump to mind who were picked up as FAs. LeBron doesn’t count because he took the Cavs to the finals and the Heat already drafted Wade. Older elites typically need a gamechanger to be put around.

              Your ‘build a contender’ is an Atlanta Hawks or some other good-to-middling team that had some decent players and built around them only to have to dismantle without ever getting past the second round (and not usually the first). Most Raptors fans would be thrilled with that, but there are those who want more.

              • STOP…..MAKING…..SENSE…..

          • pogi

            That is the Raptors. It is difficult to get a free agent star players to play in Raptors. They preferred to play in a warmer city and with bigger market maybe unless you over paid them.

          • Louvens Remy

            I think you are saying the same thing. Making the playoffs for this team should be a goal, which is a step towards something bigger. Look at OKC, they lucked out and got Durant and where awful for a couple years. They progressively got better to the point where they are contenders and playing in the final (last year). What would you propose the Raptors do? Blow it up? Start again from scratch? Tank? Let Lowry walk, amnesty Bargs, buy out Kleiza et al. Trade Demar for draft picks and build with Ross and JV?
            What’s a positive for you? I’m actually just curious…gimme a “If Tim W. was GM of the Raps…” post.

            • My problem with this team is there doesn’t seem to be a goal beyond making the playoffs. If the Raptors make the playoffs and that’s their ceiling, then who cares? And, to me, that’s what this team is.

              Even Denver, whose ceiling is probably the second round, at least has enough tradable assets to be able to try and trade for an elite player, if one became available. I don’t think it’s the easiest way to acquire one, but at least they have that option. The Raptors have few tradable assets, no star players, and I count 5 contracts that would prove extremely difficult to unload.

              I wrote a three part series here on what I would do. I’d probably start at part two, here:

              • CJT

                Don’t you think it is important to focus on one goal at a time? Making the playoffs has proven to be difficult since the departure of Bosh, so to take that first step would be a very important achievement for them. At that point I think you build and improve on your successes. I don’t that there is a team in the league who wouldn’t say that a championship isn’t their long term goal but for all but a few it is a goal that will go unfulfilled. I appreciate what you are saying and that your aspirations are for more than a first round exit at the hands of the Heat as our endgoal, but I think it is an important first step that you cant and shouldn’t gloss over.

                • It’s not that simple. I’ve heard this a lot, where people say the Raptors have to reach the playoffs before they can become a contender. And that’s true. But you have to be able to GET beyond just making the playoffs. That was the problem I had with the roster Colangelo built when he first took over the team. I knew it had a ceiling of a first round playoff team, but because I really wanted to believe in Colangelo, I just had faith that he would be able to pull something unexpected off. Of course, he didn’t and we all know what happened after that.

                  While making the playoffs should obviously be the first goal, if the team doesn’t have the ability to get beyond that, then it’s already a failure. Look at the Atlanta Hawks, after they signed Joe Johnson. Their ceiling was a 2nd round playoff team, and it was pretty obvious that the only way they’d get beyond that is if they blew the whole thing up and started again. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the guts to do that and hedged their bets, trading Johnson and Marvin Williams, but keeping Josh Smith and signing Louis Williams in order to stay competitive.

                  RIght now, the Raptors don’t have a core that will get beyond the second round, and they’ll be lucky to get past the first round. If they had more tradable assets, that wouldn’t be so bad, but Gay, DeRozan, Fields, Bargnani and Kleiza are all vastly overpaid and you wouldn’t get similar value back, so you’d have to downgrade (as Memphis did with Gay, Atlanta did with Johnson). And in another year, my guess is Lowry will be overpaid and have a contract similarly difficult to move.

                  Unless Valanciunas somehow becomes a franchise player, the Raptors are stuck with Gay as the franchise player, and DeRozan as a core player, and that doesn’t bode well for the future.

                  If you don’t believe me, though, this was from a recent article on Grantland:

                  “After bashing the Celtics (who didn’t care) by 24 points on the last night of the season, the team finished with a five-game winning streak, with every victory coming against a team with a winning record. While an arbitrary accomplishment, the feat was last achieved in 1970-71 by the San Diego Rockets. Leading the way was Gay: In nine April games, he shot 48 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range, both mammoth jumps over his dismal season averages. Sure, the Raptors are destined for a future of hopeless mediocrity, but a meaningless hot streak and Rudy temporarily earning his paycheck are more compelling than whatever the Milwaukee Bucks have planned for the postseason.”


                • DumbassKicker

                  So the opinion of the Raptors, by a NY DJ who blogs that he spent a wonderful week at Paris Fashion Week, in March, because “basically everyone I knew in New York was in Paris at Fashion Week”, is somehow proof that your opinion is the gospel? Haven’t you been preaching “intelligent” discussion over and over these past few days? That one’s really sad, man.

                • I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you are kidding with that comment, and hopefully realize that there is more than one Ben Detrick out there, and the one who wrote that is this guy…

                  …who is a staff writer for Grantland and not the guy you mentioned.

                • DumbassKicker

                  Exact same guy, without a doubt, much less need for your “benefit of the doubt”,,,,, who is such an important contributor at Grantland that he doesn’t even make the list of 50 Contributors they display on that page. He also writes for Village Voice and Esquire, and an excample of his NY Times work is:

                  He’s a writer, man, not a basketball expert. The thing is, even if what I say isn’t true, which it is (Paris Fashion Week during the NBA season, lol), you’re hanging your hat on validation of your opinion as proof because some media writing whore (give him a topic and he’ll write about it, especially if it’s fashion or music related), who writes for Grantland shares your opinion? That’s as lame as you actually believing that what you write is something more than just your opinion, often based on minimal real information.

                • So he’s NOT a DJ, as you first claimed. He’s an actual writer who’s respected enough to write about the NBA for Grantland, as well as write for the New York Times, Village Voice and Esquire.

                  Are you REALLY the type of guy who’s going to question the resume of a writer who writes regularly for Grantland about basketball simply because he happens to have a differing opinion from your own? And because he happens to be able to write about things other than basketball?

                  I get that you don’t agree with my opinion. I couldn’t care less about that. Lots of people don’t. Lots of people leave comments who don’t. But you are one of the few who can’t seem to do so without acting like a 16 year old who hasn’t quite grasped the social graces of society, yet.

                  As for the quote, I thought it apropos to the conversation. I read something on Grantland, a very respected website that talks a lot about basketball, and it jibed with my own opinion, proving that it’s not just a few Raptor fans who have this opinion of the team.

                  You chose to make it your mission to try and discredit the quote as if doing so will cause my whole argument to unravel. That’s not normal. Especially considering you weren’t even part of the previous conversation.

                  I’ve never claimed my opinions are anything but my opinions, but that doesn’t mean I’m not confident in them, just as you seem to be confident in yours. The difference is that I don’t immediately try and make it personal when I come across a conflicting opinion.

                • DumbassKicker

                  “a 16 year old who hasn’t quite grasped the social graces of society, yet.”

                  Well, well, would you care to repeat the many of your posts I’ve seen here about sticking your nose up in the air and extolling civilized, mature discussion? What about that statement is the least relevant to what I’ve said, as in how have I shown a lack of social graces. Seems you’re the one getting rather personal, in a snotty kind of way.

                  That aside, WRONG AGAIN. He IS a DJ and IS the guy I said (not someone different as you stuck your nose up and told me to get it straight) who spent a week in the beginning of March (important part the basketball season) in Paris for Fashion Week, where he claims EVERYONE HE KNOWS IN NY was.

                  Just because he’s a NY writer doesn’t validate his opinion about a basketball team in Toronto, but with his specialty being music and fashion, that you would try and validate yours because he wrote something similar is laughable. And my point about it’s only opinion, was directed at your statement of “if you don’t BELIEVE me, look at this (the fashion writers opinion)”. The BELIEF part indicating that you DO feel your opinion is more than that, or is that too subtle for you?

                  “you weren’t even part of the previous conversation”

                  Awwwww, hurt that I stuck my nose into a PUBLIC forum topic? You say that while trying to paint me as a 16 year old? Seriously? This is getting more pathetic by the post. Perhaps ya gotta stick to debating 12 year olds.

                • FLUXLAND

                  Please. You don’t debate. You dilute. To debate you have to have a position, and you never do.

                • DumbassKicker

                  lmao.. no position,,, lmfao….. okay, I said above that you’re much funnier after I had a couple of scotchs, but now I’m wondering what kind of Saturday night hootch you’re abusing your young body with.

                • FLUXLAND

                  “That’s as lame as you actually believing that what you write is something more than just your opinion, often based on minimal real information.”

                  Oh the sweet irony. How oblivious can one be?

          • Giselle

            I just have one question and it doesn’t really have anything to do with this comment but why are you a fan of this team or follow this team? I actually really want to know. I’m not trying to be rude or anything. I’m just asking because you want us to be an elite team that is at least in the talks of being able to win a championship, which I do as well. You also say you aren’t happy with just making the playoffs but that is the best this team can do with the way we are currently constructed, which is very true. And you make reference to the fact that there isn’t really any hope of us being more than just a playoff team anytime soon because we don’t have the assets or draft picks and we have horrible contracts on the team, which is also true. We aren’t going to start all over and gut the whole team with Bryan here and it seems like he will be here for a little while longer. So why even follow this team if you see very little positives going forward? There are 29 other teams in the league you can follow and about 5 that have all the things you want for the Raptors. Why not follow one of them? It would make your life a lot easier lol I for one agree with mostly everything you say I’m just one of those fans that would be happy with at least making the playoffs for like 2-3 years just because I’m tired of the losing. And I also really like a lot of the guys on this team believe it or not lol

            • It’s a fair question. While I live in Vancouver, I’m from Toronto, so obviously I have a big connection to the team. I still remember when they announced Toronto was getting a team, how thrilled I was that Toronto was finally getting it’s own team. Up until then, the only live games I’d seen were the preseason ones at places like Copps Coloseum. I even thought up a name for the team: The Toronto Thunder, if you can believe it.

              While I’ve followed other teams over the years, including the Spurs, who are my second favourite team, there isn’t another team I have even close to the connection I have with the Raptors.

              • Giselle

                Oh okay. Thanks for the reply. Hopefully we will be an elite team one day but for now I would just like to see some playoff appearances, but that’s just me. I try my best to stay positive and hope that good things will come to this team soon because I do feel we have some good pieces.

            • Copywryter

              I think Tim is just being a different kind of fan. If ‘fan’ for you is ‘Raptors right or wrong’ that’s fine, but for me that’s not only mindless, but counter-productive.

              Why? Because it leads fans to swallow whatever marketing the organization throws at them. Then, when the scheme de jour (young gunz, Bargs the pasta-wielding hero, JV as the Eastern Orthodox Savior, etc) fails, you cheer for the next big fake thing. Is that really good for the franchise? When a team can do no wrong and seat sales are strong and the fan base is happy with mediocrity you’re sending a message that average is ok. It is not ok with me.

              Personally, I’d prefer a team that is rock-bottom awful over the merely (below) average one we have now. I don’t see the point of putting lipstick on a pig. Give me terrible with the hope of a transformative draft player coming out of college over a team with an 7th seed ceiling.

              I love the Raptors, I’ve grown up with them. I’m tired of the losing too, but I don’t think we’re on the right path, I’m certain we’re not. I want the belief I had just before VC missed that last-second shot against the 76ers. It seems like a long time ago.

              • DumbassKicker

                The common kind of refrain that comes from the likes of people who don’t have the courage or determination to build something of themselves, but puts their future all on the line in hopes of winning the lottery.

                • Copywryter

                  The Raptors have been awful for most of their existence. The only times we haven’t been awful were teams built on lottery picks. It can go wrong and it can go right, of course, but you bet big and if it fails you reset fast. I challenge you to name a team that has built itself to a championship without a superstar that it drafted. Name the Lakers if you want, but we both know that they are a different franchise.

                  And actually the refrain comes from technology startups – the business I was in a for long time. With startups, you either have a winning idea that can scale or you have something that’s not going to produce a big exit. You work extremely hard and you give everything you’ve got on this small chance, but you also need to have the objectivity to let it go, to not be sentimental. There’s nothing cowardly about that.

                • sleepz

                  That is a fact that cannot be argued. They only time this team has been good was when it was built around their lottery picks and solid draft decisions..

                • CJT

                  The Clippers.

                • Copywryter

                  Uh, number one pick in the draft Mr. Blake Griffin? Also drafted DeAndre Jordan. Does CP go to lob city without those draftees to lob to?

                  Griffin is exactly my point. A terrible, moribund franchise with the worst owner in sports turned around by a single pick.

                • DumbassKicker

                  A single #1 pick, obtained by winning the lottery from the 3rd best chance of 17%. Bummer for the teams that tanked more/better and got fked by the lottery hey. We had the same chance 2 years ago, but dropped to 5th, where we got JV.

                  Or should we talk of the Bulls being turned around (Rose) by lottery luck from the 9th best chance of winning. Bummer for the teams that tanked more/better and got fked by the lottery hey. We were in the same spot 4 years ago, but didn’t have Chicago’s luck and stuck in the 9th spot to get Derozan.

                  Or should we talk about how lucky Portland was in winning the lottery from the 7th spot and getting Oden?

                  Or should we talk about Clevelend’s lottery luck landing 1st pick from the 8th best chance. Bummer for the teams that tanked more/better and got fked by the lottery hey. We had the same shot last year, with 8th best chance, but stayed there again.

                  We’ve had lottery picks the last 4 years, with the only lottery “luck” being “bad luck”. Just how many years more would you propose the Raps franchise rely upon a plan of lottery luck?

                • Copywryter

                  Bummer for the team (OKC) that got James Harden at #3, in the same year as Griffin? Yeah, totally not a franchise pick. So two out of three teams got rewarded and one picked Thabeet, who should not have gone that high.

                  I didn’t say you don’t need luck. You need luck in everything except chess. You’re losing my original question:

                  Name a championship-calibre team that doesn’t rhyme with Fakers that didn’t build around a player they drafted.

                  It’s hard, isn’t it? Doesn’t that tell you something?

                  Christ, even Boston, who picked up Garnett and Allen in one of the smelliest, inside-baseball trades of all time, still had a HoF piece in Pierce, WHO THEY DRAFTED.

                  I’m not arguing for tanking, I’m emphasizing the importance of the draft, top 5 picks in particular. I’m also arguing against picking up max contract players because they lower your ceiling while raising your floor, giving you more Derozans and fewer Hardens, and locking you in to endless mediocrity.

                  It’s a philosophical difference. I’d rather be elite for 5 years and god-awful for 15 than have 20 years of 1st and 2nd round exits. Pretty good is not good enough for me.

                • DumbassKicker

                  ummmm, miss the point often? OKC got Harden at #3, yup,, but they had the 4th best chance, which is not part of my stated “teams that tanked more/better and got fked by the lottery”. The Kings had #1 best chance and ended up picking 4th, while Minny (from Washington) had 2nd best chance, but got the 5th pick.

                  “I’m not arguing for tanking, I’m emphasizing the importance of the draft, top 5 picks in particular.”

                  So if you’re not arguing for tanking, how do you propose the Raps get these “top 5 picks”? As I said, we’ve been in the lottery for 4 years. We had 3rd best chance, and wound up 5th, unlike the luck LAC had. We had 9th best and didn’t budge in the lottery, unlike the Bulls that got Rose from the 9th best chance, or the Cavs that got Irving from the 8th spot, like we got stuck in 8th spot last year.

                  So, my point has nothing to do with whether or not teams build around stars they got in the draft. My point is that we’ve been in the lottery 4 straight years, with no luck but bad luck. We have DD(23), JV(20), Ross(22), and used ED, a 13th pick, to get Gay from those picks. We’ve been in the lottery 4 years, had nothing but bad luck with the ping pong balls, there’s very little to argue about the picks made. Soooooooo, instead of just whining about needing high picks, I asked you “Just how many years more would you propose the Raps franchise rely upon a plan of lottery luck?”, to which you gave a a long winded nebulous response that isn’t a response to my point.

                • Copywryter

                  First you accuse me of whining about needing high picks, then you whine about having bad luck with picks – which implies that you agree that we need high picks!!! Are you aware of this hypocrisy?

                  To answer your question: The Raptors have to stay bad, draft well, keep trading for / acquiring picks and let math run its course. In short, as long as it fucking takes because there’s no other way – especially when your GM is not a good talent evaluator.

                  The problem the Raptors have is that they don’t let themselves stay bad, they do stupid things like ‘accelerated rebulids’ and refusing to dump / coddling a #1 pick who was so very clearly not a star. They aspire to mediocrity which dooms them every way from sunday – no picks and nobody wants to come here to play with losers.

                  Plus we have a situation where the needs of the team and the needs of its GM are not the same. He needs to win (or lose less) now.

                  Also, accumulating draft picks is a form of leverage, you can use them to move up or down in a draft, along with making yourself a weaker team in order to target strong drafts like 2014, which the Raptors will likely have a 10-15 first round pick in, rather than a top 10.

                  Why don’t you answer my question and give me an elite team that hasn’t built around a guy they drafted. The only one I can come up with is Memphis, because you could argue that Gasol is too low a pick to count.

                  Also, if you’re excited about Ross and think that was a good pick for this team or at all then I question your objectivity about this team and your general understanding of basketball.

                • Guy

                  The 06-07 Raptors team that won the only division title in their history was not built on lottery picks. They had Bosh & Bargnani was a rookie, & we all know how beloved he’s been. Other than those two, the key players on the team that year were acquired via FA signings from Europe(Anthony Parker & Garbajosa) or trade(Nesterovic & TJ Ford). Calderon was also a FA signing.

                • Copywryter

                  What? The team was built around a draft pick (Bosh) and Bargs was a 1. It was Bosh’s team!

        • tellum whitevegas!!
          these people have no clue on how teams r run!
          it was a positive season in my mind!
          -first off with all the new faces chemisty is huge(look at the start of the jays season,the miami heat’s first season, the didnt win)
          -point guard swap!
          -playin a rookie at centre
          -having your face of franchise collaspe and ridilled with injury all season(bargs)
          they they overpaid fore sum of there talent on the team!but liuke i said in an earler post,last time i checked MLSE has a shit load of $ too spend!spend it!
          i can go on and on!
          if your a true raps fan you would be optimistic after this season!
          all the nawsayers about rudy n demar cant coexihsit you dont know nothin about basketball!and how to play the lanes and what opoutunities that will arise from the both of them on the floor!
          kyle is a pitbull, makes stupid decsions at times but can run a team!and who knows maybe jose signs back wit team next year!
          overall im happy with there season. doesnt happen overnight!
          we will se next year! and i say that every year but i think they have the pieces they need to compete from 5 to 8 spot next year!

      • CJT

        Of course it is a positive. It would be a step up from where we are wouldn’t you agree? A step in the right direction would be very welcome for most of us.

    • Whether it’s positive or not depends completely on the state of the team. The Lakers playing .500 ball is not a positive sign. Now, the Raptors haven’t been a .500 team in 5 years, so in one sense that’s good. But the question is, are they built to be anything MORE than a .500 team? For me, and many others, the answer is no. And that’s not a positive.

  • Roarque

    As long as the inmates are in control of the asylum ( ie a player’s league ) then outposts like Toronto and Seattle won’t have an opportunity to assemble the elite core of basketball players who can beat teams from cities who are the meccas like New York and Boston and Miami – teams assembled by persuasive players like DWade and Carmello.

    And then there’s the Spurs and the Thunder – outposts where teams were somehow assembled by persuasive owners.

    Let’s hope that San Antonio or Oklahoma City can beat the Miami Heat this year so the players can see that they don’t have to be in the meccas to win a ring. Because let’s face it, when you’re already making 10 million++ per season to play a game and get treated like royalty wherever you go, who cares if you just make the playoffs? In mid April you head home to spend a month with your family or your golf clubs and then hit the gym with your buddies to start to prep for next season.
    The objective has to be a legitimate chance to beat the teams assembled (by the players) to win a championship.

    I say that it’s time to take back the league from the players. Management needs to be as organized as the players.

    • Copywryter

      What? The Thunder assembled an elite core of basketball players pretty much as the Sonics. They did it through the draft, the same way that the Spurs did, and the Rockets before them, and the Bulls before that. ‘Outpost’ owners are usually an impediment.

      I prefer players assembling their own teams. Unlike the owners, they actually want to win.

      And since when is Miami a basketball Mecca?

      • WhiteVegas

        How the Spurs built through the draft will never be replicated thanks to the lottery. OKC lucked out and got Durant, the biggest game changer since Lebron. If you put Oden on that team instead of Durant they probably don’t even make the playoffs, and definitely aren’t in contention for a title. Portland’s mistake was OKC’s gain.

        • There isn’t one team model that can be replicated. Every contender builds their team in a unique way that is nearly impossible to duplicate. In fact, pretty much every single NBA Champion lucked out somehow in acquiring one or more of their core players.

          • smh

            Wouldn’t there be some corelation there somewhere since Sam is pretty much a San Antonio disciple? I mean, simplistically, the key is good management + good scouting?

            • Yes, I think you can try and copy a front office system, but I speaking of the particulars of acquiring specific players. The third part of the article I wrote, I think, is basically a Spurs model. And I think that sort of thing is exactly what the Raptors should be doing.

      • smh

        You in favor of superteams then?

        • Copywryter

          Yes, absolutely. I’d just prefer that they weren’t the same two teams year over year.

          • Roarque the Edytor

            Mutually exclusive preferences wryter-man

            • Copywryter

              Perhaps. But with the Cs and Lakers looking weak and the new CBA punishing teams tremendously for being over the cap for 3 years out of 4 (there’s a great Grantland article about this) it will be almost impossible to keep ‘big three’ type teams together. That’s probably a good thing, but I’m not sure.

      • Roarque

        Miami has more millionaire’s per square mile than anyplace in Canada except SSI.

        • Copywryter

          And the Heat have one of the quietest, most passive crowds in sports. Especially true before they won that chip with LeBron.


      If you actually think the players run the L, you simply don’t get it. Ask Dirk how he feels about running his team. How was LeBron running things in CLV? What about Melo in Denver? Don’t mistake players looking for owners that want to win as players running the show. You need both parties to have the same goal. And in no way, shape or form will the players ever run the L.

      • Roarque

        Really? That’s where you are? How old are you?
        There isn’t a head coach in the NBA who can afford to challenge his elite player(s).
        You think Kobe and LBJ don’t come into and leave the game when they see fit?
        How’s Mike Brown doing these days? Or D’Antoni after Melo pushed him out of NY?

        • FLUXLAND

          Well Mike Brown got paid, he can relax until something comes up that he likes. Last I checked D’Antoni is in LA with Kobe so I don’t know what you are talking about.

          I’m old enough to know you are not old enough to see what is happening.

          They can all afford to challenge them, but that’s not the point. The point is to properly motivate.

          Still, your illusion that the players run the L is invalid. Did Jax end up in LA like Kobe wanted? No. Etc, etc, etc.

        • DumbassKicker

          Roarque, when explaining things to Fluxhand, you need to avoid conceptual thoughts, and keep them simple. You know, try and think in his simple black and white way.

  • but we went undefeated in the pre-season! I thought it was impossible not to make playoffs.

  • Jim

    Doug Smith – how does that guy still have a job?

    • smh

      This a serious question? He does what he has to do not to be blackballed by the org.

  • Harv Harvey

    start again like u finished Raps .. Hit the 3’s & foul/shots better % shooting around the key box out .it;s easy if u try

  • WhiteVegas

    I believe that you write what you see, but since you’re a perpetual glass half empty guy, all you tend to see (or decide is important enough for you to opine on) is the negative things, often negatives that don’t even exist outside your skull.

    As noted below, the Raptors have a winning record over the last 59 games, and a winning record since the addition of Gay. You could at least throw some positive facts like that in along with your shit storm of negative crap. It would add much needed balance to your writing (I’m sure you’ll find a way to marginalize or spin the above facts as negative somehow, that’s your style).

    Here’s some stuff I think you got wrong, and you definitely shouldn’t be talking about in absolutes like you are above. This may surprise you, but a lot of people disagree with you and sometimes you’re wrong. Shocker I know.

    “That’s why they kept talking up Andrea Bargnani as a workable asset that has trade value, and not the unwieldy contract that will be nearly impossible to move.”

    Bargs was nearly traded for Boozer, which clearly shows he is a workable asset with trade value, and isn’t nearly impossible to move. If he hadn’t gotten injured right during the peak of the trade talk, I’m fairly certain that trade would have gone down. Chicago couldn’t sell trading Boozer for a player that’s out for the season to their fan base, so the trade didn’t happen. Before you say it was rumors BC put out, the rumors all came from Chicago, not TO.

    “That’s why they kept talking up the Rudy Gay trade as if it was such a great move for the team, and not a panic move that is meant to save Colangelo’s job.”

    Again with this panic move nonsense, once again stated in absolutes, like there is no way trading for Rudy Gay was a good idea. The guy is a near all star, fit a huge position of need, fans were clamoring for him before the season started, and he has played pretty damn good most of the time here, even brilliantly sometimes. Sure he had some bad games, but it was a mid-season trade meaning new teammates, new system, new responsibilities (top scorer now), and all without a training camp. Rough patches were all but guaranteed, even the Heat had some when they put the big 3 together. How is trading away Jose, whose contract was expiring, and Ed Davis, a decent PF but inferior or equal to Amir in just about every facet of the game, a panic move? You only call it that because it didn’t make the team significantly worse so you can get your precious draft pick, which of course will change the franchise into a championship contender, you’ve written over 30,000 words on how its the best way to build a team, no way you’d write 30,000 words and be wrong…..

    • Like it or not, I’ve been pretty damn bang on about most things regarding the Raptors over the years. If you want to call me negative, go right ahead. It doesn’t make it true. I’ve had conversations like this one more times than I can count and ended up being proven right down the road and I’m pretty sure the same thing will happen with this one.

      Trading Bargnani for a guy who hasn’t made the All Star team in 6 years and who is due $32 million over the next two years, doesn’t play defense and whose current team might amnesty him to get out from under his contract, isn’t exactly a good move. Not unless our goal is to copy Isiah THomas’ Knicks model.

      Gay is an offensively inefficient scorer and inconsistent defender who has been criticized for his lackadaisical play over the years and is basically the exact same player he was in his second season, yet is making max money. Colangelo was so desperate to find a player he could sell as “elite” he took a guy who has one of the worst contracts in the league.

      You don’t want to call that a panic move, fine.

      Again, though. It’s fine if you want to disagree with me. There are others commenters who do so. Why can they do it in a mature fashion and you can’t? You seem to have some sort of fixation with me. I understand that. I’m a talented writer and right so much of the time. You pretend to insult my writing, but you can’t seem to stop reading it. Maybe I’m leading you on by responding, I don’t know. I just hope that you don’t behave like this in real life.

      • sleepz

        Maybe, but definitely not concerning the draft.
        You’ve been off on quite a few of those prospects actually.

        • Really? Not from where I sit. I was right the Raptors passed up a guy who would make a bigger impact, in Andre Drummond. I was right about Dion Waiters being a low percentage chucker. I was right Austin Rivers was going to be a disaster.

          I was right they shouldn’t have drafted Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker and that Kawhi Leonard was going to be better than either. I was right that Valanciunas was a great pick and seem to be right about Kanter. I was right Jan Vesley was a horrible pick.

          I was right the Raptors lucked out with Ed Davis, and that Avery Bradley wasn’t a PG and that Eric Bledsoe was a good sleeper. In fact I’ve been pretty bang on about most of my predictions in the draft. 100%? God, no. But I’ve got a better track record than a lot of teams, quite frankly.

          You might be referring to Jrue Holiday, who I wasn’t sold on, at all, as a PG. Yes, it seems I was wrong about him.

          • WhiteVegas

            Holy Shit! Why don’t you just post a youtube video of you blowing yourself?

            • Thank you for proving my earlier point about you being obsessed with me.

            • DumbassKicker

              He does pound his meat a lot doesn’t he? By that I mean pound his chest.

          • sleepz

            Lets take it back a bit.
            You didn’t like J. Holiday or B.Jennings. and were totally aginst taking either one of them. I’m sure many will say B.Jennings is no star (he isn’t) but I think I would still perfer him to Derozan. I believe you were also hign on Demar as well. He is a hard worker but I’ve yet to see his game translate into anything more than stats.
            You also said Raps should give whatever they can to get MKG. Jury is still out on him but we can now see that playing a power game in college doesn’t translate to the pro’s when they need a true 3 and I don’t think he was worth the 2nd pick in the draft.
            I also remeber you loving picks like E.Turner, E Kanter who still have upside but haven’t established themselves in the league yet.
            You were down on Lilliard, who I think is a high volume player, so I’m not prepared to say you were entirely wrong, however he is gonig to be rookie of the year.
            Everyone is going to have projections gone wrong when it comes to draft prospects, but no one is right all of the time either.

            • Yes, I didn’t like Brandon Jennings and I still don’t. My problem with him was that he was a point guard who made poor decisions, and that’s still the case. There’s no way I’d touch him.

              I still like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but I think he’s the type of player that does better with better players around him.

              Turner hasn’t developed the way I thought, and I now see how I was probably wrong about him. Kanter, though, I’m still very big on. Utah loves him and has bringing him along slowly. Watch for him to probably start next year (with Al Jefferson most likely gone) and he should do well. He’s got great stats in fairly limited minutes.

              Lillard I was on the fence with. I had him on my middle 5 guys that I would take (top 5, middle 5 and bottom 5) but, like you from what it sounds, I’m not a huge fan of. It was Waiters that I directed most criticism towards, and I think Cleveland will regret taking him ahead of some other guys.

              Now with DeRozan, I was a big believer in him, at the time, and was the guy I wanted the Raptors to take (who was available). If I had to do it over again, I’d take Ty Lawson, who was my third choice at the time after DeRozan and Gerald Henderson.

              In that same draft, I wanted to stay far, far away from Earl Clark, Austin Daye and James Johnson, so I was pretty good at predicting their careers.

              Not perfect, but I think my track record has been pretty good.

          • DumbassKicker

            ” I was right the Raptors passed up a guy who would make a bigger impact, in Andre Drummond”

            I could talk about several others too, but since this one has been the flavour of the season around here, he’s the best example. Rookie years, haha. How long have you been paying attention to the NBA that you don’t seem to be aware how deceiving a rookie year can be. EVERY single year there are rookies in the league, more often than not due to the situation they were drafted into, that look really good and many go all ape over, saying “see, look how great this guy is going to be!”, yet 2-3 years later they’re at the end of the bench or in the D League. EVERY YEAR.

            Drummond showed great against 2nd stringers, playing for a worse team than the Raps. Whoopdy fn do! He also shot 37% from the stripe, far far worse than even Shaq or Howard in any of their years. Unless there’s a huge improvement on that, and work ethic was one of the big red flags that kept other teams away from him, he won’t have much impact on a good team in the future. Where as we’ll have JV out there in crunch time, as he can actually sink FTs at a high rate. No way will a good team have Drummond out there at “impact” time, based on evidence of his rookie season that you claim validates your opinion that he should have been picked. He could easily end up being a bigger Reggie Evans.

            At the end of the day, anybody who has observed the NBA for any length of time, should be “mature” enough by now to realize that there are very few conclusions that can be reached on a player’s future impact, based on their rookie year, playing 2nd string, for a bad team. The only way you can judge Ross’s future impact vs Drummond’s is to see where they stand in 2-3 years.

            • Copywryter

              That is massive delusional homerism. May I present to you the NBA rookie ladder, where not only is Ross missing from the list (duh), but Drummond ranks higher than JV! http://www.nba.com/rookie-ladder/

              But of course they are all wrong too, because no player has ever improved his free throws.

              • DumbassKicker

                So you speak of someone’s opinion of THIS YEAR. Great! Do you often miss the entire point, while babbling about someone else being delusional?

                • Copywryter

                  I’m sorry, my crystal ball is cracked, Shirley Maclaine is on vacay and the Tardis is hard to book time for. But since you’re certain that what’s going to happen in the future is going to be vastly different from what’s happened this year I’ll defer. What does NBA.com know anyway.

                  I could easily argue that JV spent a good part of the year banged up. This could extrapolate to an Andrew Bynum or Andrew Bogut situation where a big is talented but fragile. Based on your reasoning he could be in the D-league or out of the league in no time. Right? No, of course not, because he plays for us.

                  I could argue that Ross played against 2nd stringers and routinely looked lost or horrible.

                  Try not to get your back up when people present reasonable arguments to your ‘forecasts’. That’s what “mature” people do.

                • DumbassKicker

                  Okay, you started this with the “delusional homerism”, so I have no qualms about serving some azzhole back.

                  It always amazes me that some people on here can have their noses so high in the air while being so fn dumb. Nothing I said comes close to even resembling crystal balling forecasts. If your mind is so slow as to not even be able to grasp a rather simple concept, supported by HISTORY, that I presented, nothing I can say will penetrate your thick skull. Even if it did, it seems there isn’t enough IQ to process it.

                  Friendly advise: Pay a little more attention to your school work. It will make you smarter, and that’s a good thing,,,, really. Reading stuff outside of basketball writing on the internet would help too, and I don’t mean comic books.

            • FLUXLAND

              This comment only proves you haven’t been following the L for long, at all.

              • DumbassKicker

                ooooooooooooooo, bold statement. getting gutsy lad.

    • sleepz

      How do you know Andrea was nearly traded for Boozer?
      Cause of a rumor? Your making stuff up now.

  • Mojo Rising

    you said that the Rudy Gay trade ended up being a panic move that is meant to save Colangelo’s job.


    Colangelo trades an aging (passer) with an expiring contract and Ed (I’m going left again) Davis in Rudy Gay and you call it “panic”?

    • Rudy Gay is an offensively inefficient and inconsistent defender who has been criticized over his career for lackadaisical play and poor decision making. He’s never made an All Star team, yet is making max money.

      I didn’t have a problem with using the assets the Raptors had, but Colangelo was so desperate to acquire ANYONE he could sell as an elite player, he took on one of the worst contracts in the league.

      • Mojo Rising

        So what. The Raps have owned the worst contracts in the league in the past (O’Neil, Marion, Hedo “BALL” Turk) and were able to move them all. If the Gay experiment fails, he’s waaay easier to move. I’m not thrilled about it, but it hardly constitutes ‘crisis’ contract or a panic move.

        • The Jermaine O’Neal move was a panic move when Colangelo realized the team was on the verge of dropping out of the playoffs, which they did. He took a chance on an aging, broken down former All Star and not surprisingly, it didn’t work out.

          Mario was an expiring contract, and the Raptors had to give up a first round pick to trade O’Neal for him.

          Hedo Turkoglu was a panic move when Colangelo realized that he desperately needed to get the Raptors back to the playoffs if he had any hope of re-signing Bosh, so he ignored the fact that Turkoglu was an inefficient offensive player who played inconsistent defense and was criticized over his career for his lackadaisical play and offered him one of the worst contracts in the NBA. And it failed.

          While Gay is younger than those players, this is simply a repeat of his other panic moves and I’m betting it will have very similar results.

          The ability to get rid of the bad contracts he seems to acquire doesn’t make me feel better about the fact that he keeps acquiring them and they keep being disasters.

          • Copywryter

            ” inefficient offensive player who played inconsistent defense and was criticized over his career for his lackadaisical play”

            Lyrics in the Raptors’ theme song.

            • Now hold on, it’s only been one…well, two. Okay, I guess three. Oh, I forgot…

              Oh, never mind.

          • DumbassKicker

            Hedo turned out to be a disaster, but your re-inventing history using subsequent hindsight. To set the record straight, he was the most sought after FA that summer, as he had been the Magic’s MVP (not Dwight) of the playoffs, all the way through the finals. There was nothing “inefficient” or “lackadaisical” about that season or playoffs. BC was feeling the need to get more talent in hopes of keeping Bosh, and Hedo appeared to be the absolute best opportunity to upgrade. He appeared to be worth every penny that Portland had already offered him, which BC only slightly upgraded to get him.

            • No, I’m not reinventing history. There were a lot of people who thought the Hedo signing was a bad idea. And the reason he was the most sought after free agent was there were so few decent unrestricted free agents. Probably the second most sought after one was Trevor Ariza or an over-the-hill Shawn Marion, which gives you an idea of the quality.

              I think a lot of fans, including me, WANTED Turkoglu to work out, but there were major, major concerns, including the fact that he had a history of being rather lackadaisical and inconsistent, adding a below average defender to a starting lineup that already had three below average defenders, and that you were giving a 30 year old whose game had declined a 5 year contract.

              Colangelo gave the Raptors no choice when he bought fully into getting a free agent by trading for Shawn marion and his expiring contract. It was a move I didn’t like at the time…

              • DumbassKicker

                “whose game had declined”

                Trying to re-invent again!! Sure the pickings were slim, but as I said above, which you seem to have ignored for whatever reason, there was no question that he had just been the Magic’s playoff MVP (not Dwight) of the playoff run beating Boston, then LeBron, and playing the Lakers in the final. What’s “declining” about that?

                • Take a look at both his regular season and playoff stats. They were both down over the previous season. You can’t get suckered into playoff heroics. To many players, over the years, have come up big in the playoffs only to disappoint the next season. Hell, Kapono had a big playoffs for Toronto in his first year, and then did absolutely nothing the next year.

                  Turkoglu looked like he had peaked the year he won his Most Improved Player award, and the fact that he already had a reputation as a slacker should have been a red flag.

                • DumbassKicker

                  “You can’t get suckered into playoff heroics”

                  LOL, because playoff performance, as in when it really means something and everybody is playing at their best, is not as relevant as the regular season, right?

                • Consistency matters more. Turkoglu actually didn’t have a very good playoffs overall. He just made a few big plays, and that’s what sticks in people’s mind. I remember Rodrigue Beaubois had a couple of good playoff games for Dallas a few years ago and quite a few Raptor fans were clamouring to get him. He did absolutely nothing since then.

                  if you’re a Robert Horry, where you’re not a starter and are on a deep, veteran team, you can afford to mail in most of the regular season knowing you’re on the team for the playoff run. Turkoglu was expected to help the team GET to the playoffs, as well as play well when they get there. It was well known he had some motivational issues, which is why San Antonio let him go after only one season. Guys like that tend to decline quickly once they hit their 30s, because they don’t keep themselves in great shape. Turkoglu was 30 and had shown decline in his game from the previous season.

                • DumbassKicker

                  So his 17 PTs, 5.5 RBs, 5 ASTs averaging 37 minutes didn’t help them get there, and he only had a few plays in the playoffs. Oh, okay.

                • I’m not saying he was a complete disaster. Only that his play had obviously declined from the previous season. Both his regular season stats and his playoff stats were down pretty much across the board from the previous season. And Turkoglu played well in the Finals, but had a lot of duds leading up to that series. And as I said, his stats were down from the previous playoffs.

                  My argument is that he showed decline in his game that should have been taken into consideration when signing a 30 year old with a history of motivational issues. And I think the stats back me up on that,

      • sleepz

        I’d go a step further.
        He needed to make a significant trade (no matter what the future consequences may be) so he could say, “see, this team justs needs to gel NEXT YEAR and we’ll be in the playoffs”.
        Keeps his job and gets another year to make excuses.
        How come it’s alright to pay Rudy max money and he isn’t anywhere near to an elite player but not paying Bosh max was a huge relief on the franchise so they wouldn’t be handcuffed by a bad contract?
        The longer BC is here the more his words are easily recognized as a sales pitch. He has failed as Gm of the Raptors plain and simple.

        • Colangelo has learned that he can continue to keep his job if he always has SOME hope to sell for the next year. He’s not dumb, that’s for sure. I just wish he was better at, you know, actually constructing a team.

          • Roarque

            TimW I don’t know this for a fact but I assume that part of BC’s job description is to fill the seats in the Air Canada Center and to negotiate a lucrative TV/Cable deal for the franchise. If he has done that and if he has made money for MLG then perhaps his bosses see him as a successful VP and GM of their NBA franchise. The owners of the Raptors may be business people who don’t actually need an NBA title to consider their operation in Toronto a success. The Leafs hocket team was and still is a huge financial success that everyone said was only profitable because they play ice hockey in Canada. But that doesn’t explain the Raptor’s financial success. Most of the people in the Air Canada Center probably have never played organized basketball – even at the high school level.
            Wouldn’t it be scary to realize that Brian is extremely well respected by not only his direct boss but by the other GM’s in the NBA who see the “big picture” in Toronto as a business that makes a heck of a lot of money??

            • It could very well be that Colangelo’s sole job is to make money. If that’s the case, he’s done a very good job. But considering how loyal the fanbase has been, I think that’s a slap in the face to all of them.

          • Copywryter

            Hope has a startlingly high stock price in this town.

        • smh

          “How come it’s alright to pay Rudy max money and he isn’t anywhere near to an elite player but not paying Bosh max was a huge relief on the franchise so they wouldn’t be handcuffed by a bad contract?”

          Well, Bosh had to leave because Brian’s son via Maurizio’s niece (thrice remove) was going to be a star

        • DumbassKicker

          “How come it’s alright to pay Rudy max money and he isn’t anywhere near
          to an elite player but not paying Bosh max was a huge relief on the
          franchise so they wouldn’t be handcuffed by a bad contract?”

          1. Two entirely different scenario’s at totally different phases of the franchise with different considerations. There’s a lot more to managing an NBA team than comparing such different scenarios in the same light.

          2. You don’t honestly think that offering Bosh max money would have kept him here do you, or are you just twisting the facts to suit the agenda? I don’t know if this “tank nation” concept has produced stupid, or stupid has produced “tank nation”.

          • sleepz

            I was talking about what Colangelo has said about both of these situations specifically.
            Pay attention before trying to twist what I said to suit your agenda.

  • Pseudo journalist

    You guys do realize they’re are 8 superstars in the league and almost all of them play on the same team. Also if you tell me Jose Calderon and Ed Davis we’re worth more than anything else than what we got then throw you’re half glass of bs bloggers

    • So because most of the best players have collect on a handful of teams, that makes it alright to trade for players with horrible contracts and try and sell them as elite players? I’m not quite sure what one has to do with the other.

      And I never had a problem with the actual trading of Davis or Calderon, despite me liking them as players. I did have a problem with giving up two very good assets for an efficient, inconsistent player who hasn’t improved since his rookie season, has one of the worst contracts in the league and who isn’t anything close to an elite player, yet the team has decided he’s now their franchise player.

      • Jkwasia

        Because Jose and ed were so dynamic (bc voice) right?….So arm chair gm who would you have traded for with the so called ‘assets ” you call “dribbles and “im going left” in the same category of Rudy Gay or better ?….o.0

        • See my answer to the same question above. I’d rather have done nothing.

      • Parm

        What else could we have gotten for Calderon? He has shown hes not a difference maker, look at what hes done in Detroit. He’s a good vet to have on a team that’s pretty much it. Davis was a good player but he wasn’t a game changer in any way. When you trade 2 players like that for a guy who has the ABILITY to be one of the top players in the game, its not to bad of a move. Yes everyone knows hes not the most efficient shooter, but hes having an off year, during the span of his career he shoots 45%, which isn’t to bad. If the Raps can improve on 3’s, bring in some good vets and keep improving JV, they could be similar to the current knicks.

        • I really don’t know what Calderon’s value was. I had a few trade proposals that involved packaging him with other guys, but who really knows. Quite frankly, I would rather have just kept both him and Davis instead of taking on Gay and his contract.

          Gay’s not a bad player at all. In fact he’s a pretty good one. But he’s simply not worth the amount of money he costs, And who cares if he has the ABILITY to be a top player if he never actually realizes that ability. He’s pretty much the exact same player he was in his second season. That tells me a lot about a player, especially a player like Gay.

          Memphis didn’t think he was worth keeping him, and they got better after he left. I just think it’s better to stay away from guys like Gay, especially with the contract he has.

          • DumbassKicker

            Jose was an expiring contract that was already gone somewhere else this summer, so very little value on the trade market. That trade was really Davis for Gay. $ aside, a steal as far as prospects for upcoming seasons go.

            • Again, I’d rather have just let Calderon’s contract expire and keep Davis than trade both of them for Gay and his horrendous contract.

              By trading for Gay, Colangelo is basically buying into Gay being the franchise player, and he’s clearly not even close to that. With a guy like Harden, you could look at his advanced stats and see he had the potential…

              I think the thing I hated most about the trade was the fact that it locked the team into moving forward with their current core, one that I don’t think has much potential. Gay is really not that good. Certainly not enough to be the 1st or 2nd best player on the team. And DeRozan is nothing more than an inefficient scorer who does nothing else well. And after 4 seasons, it’s highly doubtful he’ll ever be much more than that. Lowry is a decent PG, but he too often makes poor decisions, which is not a trait you want from your PG.

              Colangelo has consistently overrated the same type of player during his tenure in Toronto, and Gay is just the latest example.

  • Mojo Rising

    Sleepz is angry

    • sleepz

      Lol, today i’m bored and we have no draft pick to contemplate so just getting my thoughts and frustrations out now cuz Raps talk is officially done until next season.

  • Mojo Rising

    The Raps are not good,

    In fact they are average at best. But they are better than they have been in some time, which is good.

    They have no draft picks this year, which is not good, but we played 3 rookies this year (how many young players is too many?), who are expected to be better next year – and that is a good thing.

    The Raps have some lame contracts (Gay, Bargs, Kleiza, Gray, Fields) which is bad. The Raps have previously owned some awful contracts is the past (Marion, O’Neal, Turk) and were able to move them all which is good.

    The team is talented and young, and with this core will likely be better next year- again good.

    What’s the problem again?

    • The Raptors have very little means to improve from a .500 team, which is basically where their ceiling is. Gay is overrated, overpaid and inconsistent both offensively and defensively. DeRozan is not good enough to be a 1st, 2nd or 3rd option on a good team, but has not skills (defense, etc) to be a roll player. And he’s also going to be overpaid. Lowry has a good contract, but is inconsistent defensively and makes poor decisions on offense, probably not something you want in a point guard.

      The Raptors will be close to the luxury tax with few tradable assets, and unless Valanciunas becomes a top 10 player, the Raptors will be stuck in mediocrity for the near future.

      That’s the problem.

  • dribbles

    The respect this franchise has for its fan base can pretty neatly be summarized in the way Matt and Jack announced the Hawks game, pretending as though the Hawks were actually interested in winning the game. They know better, but like their bosses, they have no choice but to sell bullshit because competency and actual results don’t appear to be options.

    I used to get upset about the lack of accountability shown for players like Bargs, but it makes perfect sense. The owners don’t hold their GM accountable, the GM doesn’t hold himself or certain players accountable, but most important, the fans don’t hold this miserable excuse of a franchise accountable.

    Is anyone going to be surprised when BC’s option is picked up? Can anyone think of another ownership group that would keep the same GM on after so many years of ineptitude and being the subject of so much derision outside the TO media market, too much of which is owned by the same owners?

    I’m not under any illusion that anyone gives a shit about my opinion on these matters, but if BC is back next year, I’m not tuning in. You can only take a dump on me and call it chocolate so many times before I need to take a shower. I’ll start caring again when ownership starts caring.

    • I’m not sure whether it’s simply that ownership cares mostly about the bottom line, or whether they are simply ignorant. It could be that none of them know the first thing about basketball, so it would be easy for a guy like Colangelo to believe his sales job.

  • FAQ

    32 – 48 …… I recall predicting 30 – 52 ….. close enough….

    • FAQ

      Oppps … that should be … 34 – 48 … not that it matters now …..


    “If anyone is worried that the Raptors playing a faster pace is not conducive” // “one issue I have with them is the number of times they take a quick three early in the clock.”

    7 seconds or less / Phoenix North rises and the THF rejoice in the entertainment the perennial 1st round exits bring.

    The bar is set so low and the excuse train is always full, anyone claiming that this is not success is labeled negative. It’s sad the fanbase is mostly teenagers that Bryan and Co can brainwash with the KoolAid those clowns Jack and Devlin regurgitate on a nightly basis.

    • Yes, unfortunately I think Colangelo would like to see that happen. I think there is playing a faster pace smartly, like Denver for example, and playing a faster pace for the sake of doing it, like Don Nelson’s Golden State teams. Playing at a faster pace can mean more efficient shots and more open ones because you’re doing it before the defense gets set. But an off the dribble three is something you can probably get anytime.

  • Statement

    So what does the community feel the future holds for Colangelo and Casey? Will Colangelo’s option be picked up for the final year? Will he be fired? How about Casey?

    Me personally, though I’ve criticized Colangelo’s relentlessly to friends, co-workers, on this board, etc. I want his final year option to be picked up.

    Why? Well because I feel like there hasn’t been any coaching continuity with this franchise. Continuity I think can go a long way. The team knows how Casey want’s to play and a new coach would just implement a new system that would take another few years to learn. If you retain Colangelo, you would be retaining Casey, at least for another year.

    The number one reason though is that the 5 man-unit of Lowry, Derozan, Gay, Amir and Jonas looks extremely promising to me. Even the numbers on basketball reference bear this out as this Raps 5-man unit was 2nd in the league in terms of points / 100 possessions (min 300 minutes played together).

    The sample size is too small to make any generalizations, but I want to see what this unit can do with more time and improvement from Valanciunas, who will improve. I’m skeptical about how much Demar can improve, as he has been in the league 4 years and has played nearly 10,000 minutes – so it may be a case of what you see you get. However, he is still young, and could have some upside, even if it’s only further physical maturity.

    • I see everyone coming back next year, including Colangelo, Casey AND Bargnani, who Colangelo will make the excuse he couldn’t find the right deal. Other than that, either Colangelo will strike out in finding help or overpay someone who isn’t what the team needs.

      I predict somewhere in the range of 40 wins and a continuation of what we’ve seen before.

  • Giselle

    Why did the comment I made not send? Or possibly get deleted?

  • Giselle

    nvm lol I see my comment now. Sorry guys.

  • nilanka

    WE NEED A TOP TIER COACH……its a simple as that.casey proved to be a worse coach then smitch…..casey lost us so many games and lost the players with his nonsensical coaching……can you even call what he does coaching?NO MORE SAVING MONEY ON NOBODY COACHES MLSE…GET A TOP TIER COACH….AND FREE BARGS!

  • krytha

    Keep telling the TRUTH; eff the koolaid drinking haters. This team is .500 best case scenario and we just got stabbed in the gut by BC for another year in a row (I wanted to say back, but I saw this coming from miles away). If you’re a fan that supports the Raptors and you have no criticisms at this point, you’re supporting an organization that will NEVER win a championship or even get close to sniffing an ECF berth. I want the Raptors to win big and win consistently, we already have the leafs in town. FIRE BC.

  • Roarque

    Jonas Valanciunis is the youngster that Brian thought, or rather that Brian hoped he was drafting when he drafted Andrea Bargnani. What’s the difference? Well, some would say their personalities are quite different and others would suggest that Jonas has an internal engine, a drive to succeed that Andrea never truly exhibited.
    I have another point of view: I think Andrea Bargnani was poorly handled by the people responsible for converting him from being an Italian Super Star to an NBA All Star. Heavens knows he had the talent. Our repetitive friend Leo pointed out on 3,574 occasions that with Andrea’s skill set, it was impossible for an opposition’s big man to guard him one-on-one.
    Andrea never stopped being an Italian. I would suggest that he meshed well with the Italian community in Toronto, he had an Italian Vice President whose sole responsibility seemed to be to keep him happy and to lobby Brian and the Coach du jour to ensure that his young player be give preferential treatment thoughtout. But it was obvious to me that Andrea stood aloof from the rest of the youngsters on the team who should have been his peers, his friends.
    Dirk Nowitski (sp?) was in the same situation until a young Canadian by the name of Steve Nash took him under his wing. Steve stripped him of his foreign skin and turned him into a North American professional athlete in their rookie seasons together in Dallas. Dirk was forced to blend into the culture and with his team. He wasn’t allowed to “be shy”. Nor was he allowed to be on the floor when he didn’t deserve to be there. He bloody well earned his way and that made him try very very hard to improve his soft euro style. When they won the NBA, Brian Colangelo must have turned to his lieutenants and told them “That’s where andrea is going to be in three years”.
    So what is there to do? Amnesty him? That would be the cowards solution. Trade him? To who and for what? More cowardice. But I have an idea. How about a do-over for our Italian Stallion. Get the right guys and spend this off season getting Andrea’s fitness level and his attitude level ready for the war that is the NBA.
    I mean, what have the Raptors got to lose? If he doesn’t respond then sit him on the bench. If he does, then watch him help the team to the promised land. Think of Andrea Bargnani as the Raptors first round draft pick in the 2013 draft. And treat that way. I repeat myself: what have WE got to lose???

    • Van Grungy


      paragraphs.. it pleases the eye

      seriously, I won’t read your ‘comment’

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