Let it never be said that we here at Raptors Republic don’t take the demands of our readers seriously, or put our own hot takes ahead of those of even the most scrutinizing Raptors fan. This is an athletic democracy. Which is why when I heard there were some questions being raised about our investigative practices—in this case, a complaint over the lack of inquest into the particular failing of the team we know and love in obtaining a certain 6’9” center—I readily volunteered my expertise.
You see, I’m the preeminent Kelly Olynyk scholar. Not just here at RR, but across the wide world of unfounded speculation on questionably notable basketball players. Don’t believe me? I’ve already written extensively about the biological makeup of Olynyk, a man made entirely out of other people’s stolen hair, and have tracked his whereabouts in the offseason doggedly, like one might peruse a more rewarding hobby. But I don’t mind the lack of joy in my academia, the reward of enlightening those still in the dark about Kelly Olynyk is my very own Plato’s Cave.
He eats wigs. Sorry to be so blunt about it but I’ve found when handling sensitive information the best practice is to be as transparent as possible. As a man made of hair scraps he once had to pilfer in the night, Olynyk’s life has no doubt gotten more comfortable. Though the details are still murky even for me—the world’s most knowledgeable Kelly Olynyk academic—this not-so gentle giant no doubt has a hefty contractual requirement to keep him in the powder all season long (powdered wigs, I mean). Knowing that, and understanding that the rigorous training and athletic endurance of a professional basketball player requires a diet to match, we have to look at cities with a long history or natural occurrence of wigs as those best suited to sustain a creature like Olynyk.
Boston was a great fit for a habitat rich in wigs and relative obscurity. Not just any wigs, ancient wigs, nutrient dense and folically richer than the modern wig of today. Samuel Adams, The Sons of Liberty, what do you think happened to all these dude’s wigs when they were done tossing tea into the river or whatever? Well they probably ditched them in a revolutionary dumpster, but after that every last one was collected and placed in vault at the Boston Museum. Not to get too Da Vinci Code on everyone but can you guess when these wigs began to disappear? That’s right, 2015, the year Olynyk landed on the Celtics.
For a while it was the perfect arrangement, Brad Stevens got a cheap, lumbering, bruiser of a center in Olynyk, a guy who could fly under the radar and keep in relative obscurity, and the Boston Museum got to get rid of their oldest and rattiest wigs—hassle free. But whether it was the quality of wig he was consuming, or a taste of the spotlight, something changed. We all saw Olynyk explode these past playoffs, channeling guys like Draymond Green, Zaza or the man made entirely of rats, Matthew Dellavedova, when he was on the court. All of a sudden Kelly Olynyk was a name that people knew outside of Boston, more than that, was a name that people were interested in.
Brad Stevens was panicking. He was also fielding frantic calls from the Boston Museum complaining that not just their ratty wigs were going missing, but all their wigs. They had bald mannequins on their hands and their best Tea Party reenactors lived in fear of a tall, gangly shadow cornering them in their dressing rooms, making off with their best wigs and also shaving them bald. Meanwhile, Olynyk was flaunting his stringy playoff beard in the streets, relishing in the attention and the promise of becoming a highly sought after free agent. So Stevens called the only man with a system rigorous enough to whip a Sasquatch like that into shape—Pat Riley.
And Riley gladly accepted. After all, Miami is a veritable cornucopia of wigs. They flow freely from the timeshare closets of snowbirds, tumble off unaccounted for off the heads of some of the country’s most relaxed and tanned judges, and flourish along with the city’s drag scene. More than that, a studied Pat Riley was well aware he had an exit strategy for Olynyk should his taste for wigs, the spotlight and a bigger salary overtake his usefulness.
Florida is the birthplace and home of some strange creatures in its own right—Johnny Depp, Diplo—but none so strange as the skunk ape, or Florida Bigfoot. If Kelly Olynyk grows too big for the Miami Heat system (figuratively and literally) and turns into a deficit, then Riley can simply let him loose to live with his kin in the Everglades. You think he’d be the first player to befall this fate? It’s been the place Miami has been sending some of their more questionable picks and salary dumps for years. The only time it ever backfired was with Chris Andersen, who actually preferred to live in the swamp.
Now that you know the truth of why Ujiri would never bring Olynyk to Toronto, Raptors fans, count your blessings. He would have eaten the Theatre District dry of their wigs in a matter of weeks and put an even bigger strain on the team’s current salary situation. There was no way Toronto could have satisfied this walking barbershop of horrors and I’m not sure any of us would have wanted to see what happened when he got hungry.