I’m having a hard time with the few glimpses of players and the constant jawing. I’d be happy to know that the Raptors
were all hidden away from all other life-forms. I would like to have them feel completely unwilling to share any basketball court with any other team by the time they come out of their confinement. I would like to see their actions when it is time to see them in action. But instead I get oceans of words about things that are still basically in the abstract.
And of course I can’t resist those words. All the talk is delicious. It is all at least saying that the wait is almost over. But if I had my preference, I could enjoy the wait in silence. I just want every one of them directing their thoughts towards what matters. I want them doing that intensely. I want their brains to be toughened up as much as every other muscle. Think of what a Joey Graham could amount to then! Well, maybe not.
It is too hard not to suspect that all of the post-scrimmage vows, and hows, and who’s, and poo-poos are just getting in the way of what really matters. Of course, that’s being over-reactive, but I still have the sense that whatever might be distilled each day in training, gets a little watered-down when the microphones swarm in at the end, over-exerting a phallic primacy that just reeks of an overlying impotence . Shouldn’t every Raptor, right down to the guy that does the laundry, be meditating while listening to recordings of tree-frogs, and sipping green tea infused with Gatorade? I mean for a week anyways - just lose all the face time. Would it kill them? Or us?
Why can’t we just cut the media out of the picture? Especially when we can all hear all there is to here while they are preparing for real if we all just put our own ears to the gym door. You just have to know how to use all the features in Google Earth. Go to 45º23’08.83” N, 75º41’34.73” W. Swoop down towards the horizon so that you can see the side of the building. You’ll find a blurry door up close. Hold a drinking glass to your ear, and press it up to the door on your computer screen, and listen in. I’ve been doing it all week, and it’s almost as good as being there. I guess since the camp in Ottawa is all but done, your chance to try this yourself at home will have to wait for another year, and you’ll just have to rely on filling in all the blanks left by the traditional media coverage.
It’s just as well, since you have to sit through a lot of names yelled out, some hoots and howls, and basic muttering before you get something worthwhile. It’s a bit like watching Raptors
TV. But just like with that vaunted broadcaster, it is worth it all in the end, when you manage to get your screen-saver deactivated, and you finally get gems like this: “Y’all gotta understand now, gosh darnit, what it’s going to take to make this team a real success. We have got to establish a strong identity, and each and every one of us has the perfect opportunity to help make that happen by following the lead of Chris and Jermaine. Now those are the guys that are going to get to be in all the big interviews, and have their pictures in the paper, and there are a few other guys that are going to get their chances to take the big shots. But that don’t mean a thing when it comes to the identity of this team, dag nabbit. None of that stuff is any more important to establishing this team’s identity than the kinds of things that some of you guys just looking for a few extra minutes can do. Again - you just have to follow what Jermaine and Chris are looking to do, and I’m talking about the defensive end of the court. Now last season we just couldn’t afford the luxury of relying on an anchoring of our defense like we can now. Right off the bat we had to look at dealing with Garbo’s toughness needing to be replaced. And then with Chris and TJ getting hurt, I mean I’m proud of how hard we fought, but it was really a disservice to some of you as players the way you all had to play outside of your normal, everyday roles. And it was a disservice to those guys who would have loved the chance to play outside of their roles and try to do more, and I just had to put some limits in place somewhere. There was just going to be a ceiling in place regarding our success. All because we could not establish an identity. We ended up being a little something different every night. And I’ll tell you that being able to rely on defense like we can this season, would have made all the difference in the world.”
“This season we can all really play a part by staying within our roles. And you guys that want to play more minutes need to look no further than helping a guy like Jermaine on the defensive end. You look at guys like Bruce Bowen or Raja Bell, and they were in the same sort of situation, and now they are recognized for being invaluable components. If some of you guys can take it upon yourselves to use our anchors inside, and then make life even more miserable for opposing teams on the perimeter and in transition, then it’s going to mean that we can all run more, we can all play more freely and relaxed on offense, we can keep some of our big weapons fresh and healthy throughout a marathon of a season, and I will be the first to give you all the credit in the world motherfugbug. Not only that - but you will be here and winning for as long as you are physically able. That’s where you’re longterm stability lies, and again I’m sorry that last season so many of our guys ended up working to fill holes instead of using their abilities to really help each other. I hope we can all accept that there were some circumstances that we could only go so far in overcoming, and now we can all come together and actually make our own circumstances. We can start now, looking towards creating a team that can overcome so much more, and not seeing any of those limits we faced before. OK? Let’s go.
”OK - so maybe they don’t need meditation as long as they have Sam’s incantations. We’ll be able to judge that, and whether you can believe my technical wizardry, once they finally put their plans into action. Let’s go indeed.
Courtesy of RaptorsForum member: •LX•