Ranking Raptors’ Friendship

You see two people doing something nice and you know at least one person in or around their lives have said/written something stupid like friendship goals “Friendship Goals” or “Relationship Goals.”  It’s an inevitability based on cultural celebration of the meme.

And yes, that is the surliest old man paragraph I have ever written here or anywhere else.  I’ve been at least 50 at heart for the last decade and take pride in my old soul.

With all that said, it’s good to have friendship or relationship goals.  Go for growth.  Be your best selves.  And if you are looking for someone to help you with your friendship goals there are several through Raptors history that you can choose to mimic (or not for a few of them…).

After all, friendship in a team environment is good.  Many successful teams have self-destructed based on toxic relationships, even teams with championship asperations.  It’s obvious to say, but teams work better when everyone likes one another.

Over the years there have been friendships that have been key talking points in Toronto.  Some worked out well for the franchise, while others didn’t, but each holds a special place in memory due to friendship goals.

Honourable Mention:  Bruno Caboclo and Bebe Nogueira

Two large Brazilians with comically long arms, each adjusting to live in the NBA, living in a new country while one strives to learn English for the first time.  Their friendship was bound to happen, a destiny of sorts.

It was originally thought by many that Bebe would function primarily as Bruno’s translator while with Toronto, and the two clearly bonded. It felt like a daily occurrence that one would appear on the other’s social media account.

The only thing holding them back from making this ranking is celebrity.  Bebe fights for minutes while Bruno functioned as a human victory cigar.  I love them both, but they don’t crack the top three.

3. Chris Bosh and Jarrett Jack

In July of 2009 the Raptors went shopping in free agency for two things: a point guard upgrade and better odds at re-signing Chris Bosh in 2010 free agency.  Bryan Colangelo jumped at the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone (shout-out to Coach Casey) with the signing of Jarrett Jack.

While he looked to possibly be an upgrade over what the Raptors had (at least at back-up point guard), it was his friendship with Bosh that was the real attracting.  The two had roomed together during their one shared year at Georgia Tech, and Colangelo believed Jack could be the missing piece to keeping Bosh happy in a Raptors jersey.

Toronto would go on to a 40-42 record during their one shared year in Toronto, finishing 9th in the Eastern Conference and missing the playoffs for the second straight year.

Less than a year after signing with Toronto, Jarrett Jack watched Chris Bosh leave for South Beach.  While I’m sure the two were close, and I hope they still are, it wasn’t enough to stop the lure of Miami.

2. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan

So much has already been written about their friendship, and they are almost as close as it gets to friendship goals.  While Jarrett Jack was brought to Toronto to help convince Bosh to stay, the fact that neither DeRozan or Lowry pressured the other one in free agency is the purest form of friendship.

Both would have supported their friend if they signed elsewhere.  This is truly honourable, a friend that puts the other’s best interest ahead of their own.

It took two seasons to go from 22 wins to 48 wins, and another two seasons to begin a run of three straight 50+ win seasons.  The first three such seasons in franchise history.

What would the Raptors be without the love these two share?

In all honesty, despite not talking with one another for the majority of their first season together, there is almost no good reason for DeMar and Kyle to not be ranked number one…

1. Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl

…but then we have Yak and Skills.

Yes, this is 100 percent based on recency bias, but everything these two do makes me swoon.  From their chemistry on the court, to their interactions off of it, they are magic personified.

Just look at the two of them hanging out together on a recent episode of Open Gym (if it doesn’t automatically do so, jump to 9:25 mark for the referenced clip).

Take one guess as to whose dunk Pascal is celebrating in this tweet?

You enter the league together, get drafted by the same team, and learn the professional ropes together in both the G-League and with the big club.  They even went on holidays together over the All Star Break.

We are blessed to see this friendship on a day-to-day basis.  I love Yak and Skills.

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