We are Raptors fans, first and foremost. But we’re also people. People with hopes, dreams, day jobs and favorite meals. Here’s a brief rundown of the fanatics that run this site for you, for free. Want to hear about upcoming events or pat us on the back, or tell us how we don’t know squat, or just say hey? Email us at info at raptorsrepublic.com.

Blake Murphy

Blake has been with RR since 2009. Originally just a post-game guy, Blake’s Curse, whereby the Raptors had a 3-18 stretch from 2010-12 when he had coverage duties, saw him take on a less narrow role (and then a more narrow role again, as he’s also a news editor at The Score). Blake is the resident “stats guy” and tends to work advanced analytics into his articles. He also hosts podcasts during the season. He named his dog Jose after Jose Calderon, writes for almost every site on the internet, and can be found tweeting too much: @BlakeMurphyODC

Garrett Hinchey

Garrett Hinchey

Born and raised in the frigid frontier town that is Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Garrett jumped at the chance to take his talents to south BC, where he’s currently studying at UBC’s journalism school in Vancouver. Garrett spends his off-days playing squash and fastball and trying (and failing) to convince Blake he doesn’t look like Aaron Gray. A proud northerner, he took his hometown’s glacial winters and turned them into a positive, hiding indoors and consuming sports by the pound – leaving him well-rounded and well-prepared for his break into the big leagues. Besides the Raps, Garrett devotes his loyalty to the Philadelphia Eagles, Toronto Blue Jays, Vancouver Canucks, and the rising premier league juggernaut that is West Bromwich Albion. Twitter: @garretthinchey

Doc

Nils “Doc Naismith” Linnenbruegger

When not online doing Raptors related things such as work with forums, “Tweeting” and networking, Doc can be found …. ummm …. errr …. working with forums, Tweeting and networking. Doc got his start via the ESPN message boards back during the ’00-’01 season but most will recall him from places like EBSports and most notably, RaptorsForum. Raised and current resident in the real Dr. James Naismith’s hometown of Almonte, ON, Doc was once part of a local group called the Naismith Foundation who petitioned to have the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame where it deserves to be in his hometown of Almonte. His closest claim to NBA fame is that he once played pick-up basketball with ex-National Team member and hometown boy “Kory Hallas” who once tried out for the Vancouver Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons, but to no avail. All time favourite player and who he tried to emulate during his high school days of playing hoops was none other than Rick Mahorn himself. “Thump & Bump” baby. Email: doc at raptorsrepublic.com. Twitter: @DocNaismith

Raptors Talk Raps Fan

Sam “Raps Fan” Holako

A chronic sufferer of Raptered Fan Syndrome. A day 1 Raptor fan, who incurs the wrath of the fans for his off-the-cuff ramblings about the team. His girlfriend isn’t much happier, as their ‘quality-time’ is comprised by his incessant need to watch games, yell at the TV and down large quantities of chips/fries/wings and ginger ale. During the day, he moonlights as a technical business consultant, specializing in Social Media and Web 2.0 deployments. For RaptorsRepublic.com, Sam will be responsible for game pictures, videos and stoic articles about the many faces of the Raptors. 1-2…Email: rapsfan at raptorsrepublic.com or Twitter: @rapsfan

PhdSteve

Stephen “PhdSteve” Gennaro

For much of the last 5 years with ESPN’s True Hoop Affiliate raptorsrepublic.com (and before that with raptorstalk.ca), Phdsteve has been the passionate and sometimes angry voice of Raptors fans around the globe. He is the onsite draft guru and his love for college ball and his alma mater UCLA is well documented. Matt Devlin once referred to him simply as “the Bruin.” Known for talking smack, he also has some journalistic credibility. He predicted the Lebron/Bosh team up 2 years before Bosh left for Miami, and broke the story of the JO trade and the drafting of DeMar DeRozan long before the major media outlets even knew what was going on. Steve splits his time between covering the Raptors with his weekly “The Dr. Is In” podcasts, teaching at nearby York University, winning his Fantasy Football League, and supporting Liverpool FC (YNWA). His work has been featured on ESPN.com, TSN Radio, The Pulse Network, and in Dime Magazine. Hey BC…..Im baaack! Twitter: @therealphdsteve

Arsenalist

Zarar Siddiqi

Long-time Raptors blogger and Arsenal supporter. Arse also happens to know a lot about how to make things work on the web which worked out well for the site. He likes loves hates despises follows the Raptors closer than he does his mutual funds. He’s a lethal 3-point shooter when he’s wide open and knows nothing about cars, Canadian politics, hockey, interest rates or how money works. He’s from Kashmir and he happens to be terrified of fish. His favorite show is The Wire and his favorite movie is Fargo. He also happens to rock the mic like El Presidente… Email: arsenalist at raptorsrepublic.com

Tim

Tim W

Tim was bitten by the basketball bug back in the mid-80s, and has been infected with an overwhelming desire to play, watch and read (and eventually write) about basketball, ever since. He spent his formative basketball years following the Detroit Pistons and watching them win back-to-back titles. It was a bittersweet moment when the NBA awarded Toronto a franchise because he’d already made plans to move out west. In Vancouver he got to view the disaster which was the Vancouver Grizzlies, firsthand. He started writing his own basketball blog, The Picket Fence, back in 2009 as a healthy outlet for his basketball obsession. Little did he know it would land him a dream job writing for Raptors Republic. Tim’s most endearing basketball memory is playing 3 on 3 with Mike Bibby. His least endearing memory is a tie because getting his front tooth knocked out, fracturing his orbit bone, chipping one of his vertebrae, dislocating five of his fingers, destroying all the cartilage in his knees and the Raptors drafting Andrea Bargnani. You can follow him @the_picketfence