While Raptors broadcaster and TSN NBA Insider Jack Armstrong was born in Brooklyn, New York and coached NCAA basketball in the States, he currently lives in Toronto and is a big fan of the city and he does not understand how Toronto gets such a bad rap from so many players.
"Would you rather play in Salt Lake City or Oklahoma City or Minneapolis or Milwaukee? Give me a break!" Armstrong told Landsberg on Wednesday
Certainly it's nothing against the city itself but rather the idea of playing in a foreign country; Toronto is the fourth-largest market in the NBA (after only Los Angeles, New York and Chicago) and has world-class food, theatres and culture. If the city was located a few hours south (in either New York state or Michigan, say) it's quite possible players would be flocking there – it's just that it's in a different country with certain differences in customs, cultures and education.
Players' ignorance in terms of Canadian geography and culture is not necessarily their fault; they were simply never taught that Toronto's similarities to a major American metropolis far outweigh the differences. Until that changes, there will likely be plenty more players who reject the 'True North strong and free' for the 'Star Spangled' shores of an American city.
"I think it's some sort of stigma," admitted Bonner. "A lot of people think of Canada and Toronto as the 'Great North' and that it's snowy all year and all these great untruths and myths that are totally false."