Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Can the Toronto Raptors get any credit?

It's funny--one day the NBA is silent, the next day it's crazy.

Yesterday, 53 ESPN panelists (the same ones who voted for Rookie of the Year) predicted where Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudamire, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James will be come July 2010.

38 believe LeBron James will stay in Cleveland, 8 believe he'll play with the Knicks, 3 believe he'll land in Miami, and 2 think he'll be with the Nets.

35 believe Dwayne Wade will stay in Miami, 8 believe it'll be Chicago, and 6 believe he'll land in New York.

13 believe Amar'e Stoudamire will sign with New York, 10 believe he'll stay in Phoenix, 5 think Golden State, and 4 think he'll play with Miami.

Now for Chris Bosh...

19 believe he'll sign with New York, 13 think Miami, 4 for Chicago, and 3 a piece for Dallas and Toronto. That's right folks--of the 53 votes, 94% of them believe he will leave Toronto. But does this worry me? Not really, it's just a prediction. But it's interesting to see where others believe he'll go.

I do want to know one thing--what's this big obsession with the New York Knicks? Yes, they'll have money to spend, and yes the markets big, but doesn't the team suck? I can't read the minds of these athletes, but I know I'd want to take a pay cut and play for a good team, rather than getting more money and losing on a nightly basis. I've heard people say "Well Eddy Curry and Jarred Jefferies' contracts will clear up $18M". That's true, but not until 2011. So if Donnie Walsh can somehow trade these ridiculously priced players, it appears the Knicks will have to spend that money in the summer of 2011.

And besides--Chris Bosh mentioned in an interview today that he's willing to sit down with Bryan Colangelo and talk about an extension. Now, will this actually happen? Probably not. But the fact that Bosh said he's willing, speaks volumes as to how happy he is with the off-season the Raptors have had. Raptor fans have every right to think Chris Bosh may stick around with Toronto. He seems very happy his new teammates, and depending on how well the team does, it's anyone's guess..

I'm not saying Bosh will stay with Toronto, nor am I saying he won't--I'm going to wait it out, and see how the first few months of the season go.

Alright now, you're probably wondering why the headline of my blog is "Can the Toronto Raptors get any credit?". Well, here's why....

Today, ESPN made their Eastern Conference playoff seeding predictions. ESPN believes the Raptors will be 39-43 next year, and be just shy of the playoffs. This shocks me, and frankly doesn't make sense. You're telling me, ESPN, a team whose had a fantastic off-season like the Raptors isn't going to make the playoffs? Yet, a team like the Heat, who won 43 games last year, and didn't make any off-season moves WILL make the playoffs? It infuriates me, because this team flies under the radar every year. I can't wait for the Raptors to silent these critics. Check out the rest of the predictions here.

What's your stance? How do you guys think the Raptors will do next year? I'd love to hear feedback.


  1. I didn't read the Chris Bosh prediction, but I'm not that surprised. Major sports' columnists in the U.S. have this impression that Canada sucks. Our winter's as bad as it is in the north pole, and people don't like basketball here. NBA players are JUST WAITING to run away from Toronto. It's really sad. I might agree that Bosh might leave, but only because he might have a better winning a championship. But going to New York? Why?? I don't understand at ALL why they keep predicting Lebron's going to NY, or Wade, or Bosh. Why the hell would any one of them want to join a crrrrrappppy team like the Knicks?? It's not like they'll have enough cap to sign two of the big names. So the best player behind Lebron (or Bosh or Wade) would be who? Al-Harington? Yikes...

    Also definitely agree with your ESPN ranking for the teams. I can probably see why all the other teams MIGHT be ahead of us, but the Heat? Are you serious?? Like you said, they did absolutely nothing! Where's the logic ESPN??

    It's just ridiculous.

  2. Ha thank you! Finally someone agrees with me!

    I'm right though--yeah the market may be big in NY, but why play there if the team won't be successful?

  3. This is typical of the US media. They envy Brian Collangelo and are dying to see him fail. The US media is apathetic to Toront They don't have a clue what's going on in Toronto and frankly, don't care.

    Do you think it's coincidence that the other free agents mentioned were expected to resign with their current teams?
    I mean are you telling me if Beasly can't go this season Wade is resigning?.....not!

    The best revenge for the Raptors is win. They win and everything will take care of itself.
    I believe that the Raps will win. One of the Big 3 teams of Orlando, Cleveland or Boston will have one of the stars go down and finish below expectations.

  4. Hey Kevin,

    I fully agree and understand your anger. But I think these ESPN panelists make their decisions based entirely on their experience. And quite candidly speaking, the Raps haven't done squat since its inception in 1995. So I don't think these panelists are suffering from ignorance than they are from skepticism.

    But then again, it doesn't mean they won't accomplish anything next year. From what I know about sports writing (or writing for any newspaper, magazine, site), writers are often suppressed by their curators. It's always about what most people want to here about. So maybe Mr. John Hollinger, or Mr. Chad Ford aren't really bad-mouthing about us. Maybe we can someday exonerate them for what they said about us. Just maybe.

    I remember last November when I joined Raptorsforum (<--- awesome place) and read an article by an ESPN analyst. To make a long story short, that analyst basically, implicitly, in a way, scorned the Raptors. But since then I realized that's how ESPN writers roll. So to this day when I see one of these demeaning articles about the Raptors, I merely scratch off the discomfort as if it were an itch. For now all I can say is DRINK MILK, LOVE LIFE and enjoy the beautiful roster on paper.

    P.S. How did you come to like the Raptors, and not the Knicks?

  5. Thanks for the input, guys.

    I agree with you, Peter--the only way to silent these critics is simply to win. Then, it makes them feel stupid, and it causes us to point the finger at them and chuckle. I truly believe the Raptors can finish #4 in the East. On paper, this team has an extremely deep bench, and a very solid starting rotation. And I truly mean that--I've heard people say "well, I'm not getting my hopes up, because look at what happened last year". That's true, last year was a disappointment. But last year, we also had some small concerns, for example a backup PG. While we were all positive about last years Raps, we also had small worries. And this year, we won't. Jarrett Jack is a proven PG, and will be an excellent backup. Our bench is much more deeper. The concerns we had last year are gone now, and that's why I think we'll be successful.

    I'm getting very sick of being undermined as a Raptors fan. We get no credit at all, and it comes to a point where I can't stand it. Is it because the Raptors are in Canada? Maybe. But I'm sick of getting the short end of the stick year in and year out. Even when we won 47 games a couple years ago, people still said we wouldn't beat the Nets. I don't know what it will take to get credit--but hopefully, if we have a solid year, anything can happen? Now, I don't know how the Raptors are portrayed in Canada, but here in the US, ESPN gives them no credit.

    Dan--I've actually gotten this question a lot. Considering I'm from New York, a lot of people wonder why I'm a Raptors fan. Back in I think 1st grade, my older brother told me about Vince Carter. I soon became a fan of his, and I remember doing a book report on him in 4th grade. Ever since then, I've been a big fan, and love Raptor basketball. I'm only 16, so I'm hoping my passion will grow even stronger.

  6. Hey Kevin,

    You're completely right, and the reason we don't get credit is simply that we're in Canada. As blunt as it sounds, it's true. Unfortunately, since Dr. James Naismith's invention, our country has failed to foster the game. The truth is, the game of basketball has never inherently established itself here-and sadly, it's understandable.

    But I definitely DO see the Raptors winning over 50 games, as I have predicted before. Bryan Colangelo has formed a very complete roster. If we stay healthy we can definitely hurt some teams in the season and the playoffs. But as of now, even if I were to be an ESPN analyst, there is no way I can rationalize greatness for the Raptors just based on speculation and optimism. All we need is a string of good years and we will be recognized for our ability.

    Now for Vince Carter...haha I really hate saying that name, but I got admit, I was also lured into the game by the Carter-effect. That is one area I gotta give Vince props for. It'd be great if you could come to Toronto and enjoy the excitement firsthand. RAPS4LYFE!!!!

  7. Yeah, I think I'm gonna go to the home opener on the 28th..I just gotta get me a passport.

    I think the sky's the limit for this team. If we can stay healthy, we may surprise people in the East. Hopefully it all works out.

    I'll have a new blog tomorrow, so be sure to check it out.