Mantras are a powerful psychological tools that have been used for centuries. Armies in their sigils and chants, artists and scholars in their personal practice (I see you, Descartes!) and of course, with too many examples to count, in sports.
Going into Game 3 against the Bucks in Milwaukee tonight, our beloved—and sometimes chronic head cases—Raptors could likely use a cerebral whetstone to sharpen their mental edge. But generic, motivational sports mantras are not going to cut it. These are the playoffs, people. That’s why in my new role as Head Mantra Maker for the Toronto Raptors (role thus far unconfirmed), I’ve come up with individualized mantras for each player based on close character study and my natural instincts as a mantrist, to use going into tonight’s game.
Delon Wright: The long arm of Delon.
DeMarre Carroll: Who let the dogs out? It was me, I did.
Jakob Poeltl: On a return trip one evening from the Austrian countryside, when I was a young junge, my father hit a deer as it came bounding across the majestic steppe. I was just a boy and while I did not relish the delivery of death, for a moment I knew what it was to twine the delicate threads of life between my fingers, as if in a lively game of cat’s cradle. I will harness that boyhood recollection now against Herr Kidd and his deer men.
Serge Ibaka: I’m Serge Ibaka.
Bruno Caboclo: (from the bench, whispering) I’m Serge Ibaka.
Pascal Siakam: Rock’em Siakam
Norman Powell: Rolling Powell outages in the area reportedly caused by shooting the lights out.
Fred Van Vleet: The demon baller of Vleet Street.
Jonas Valančiūnas: Itty Bitty Ballers continues to be a great success and so do I.
Jason Thompson: I think I am still a Raptor therefore I am.
Cory Joseph: Just like the Pickering Nuclear Station, I could explode at any time.
Patrick Patterson: Two Pats on the back, all for me, Two Pats on the back, when I make a successful three.
Lucas Nogueira: I sleep in Bismack’s bed, my heart’s as wild as my head.
P.J. Tucker: Jettison the venison/Huck the Bucks/Fry the cervidae
Kyle Lowry: ‘No one puts Baby Kyle in the corner (but if they do he drills the 3)’ alternately, ‘Smiles for miles, Kyle’.
DeMar Derozan: ‘DeMarlition Man’, alternately, ‘DeMarcrazy Now’, alternately, ‘DeMarcate the stoppers from the floppers’.
And if you’re looking for a steadying, empowering mantra of your own to chant come game time, might I suggest my own personal fail-safe: “No, no, no, yes, YES, NO”—it’s worked wonders for me so far.