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Old 02-27-2012, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Armstrong: The Raptors should think outside of the box to get on TV in the US

You can count on less than one hand the number of times the Raptors have been on National TV in the US since Vince Carter left Toronto. Yes, I understand the Raptors have only had one winning season (47 wins-Atlantic Division Champs during the 06-07 season) but over the years I've tuned in to NBA games on Networks like TNT & ESPN/ESPN 2 and seen teams that aren't Playoff teams either. You might say, what's the big deal?? I'll tell you what the big deal is: Players, agents & player's families see who plays on US National TV and more importantly, who doesn't.

It makes it a lot tougher to recruit/retain players North of the border. I strongly believe the Raptors will be better in the coming years and it will be important for the organization to raise its voice and say, 'that's enough'. There are 30 Teams in the NBA, not 29 and a 30th team that happens to be the only Canadian franchise that's an afterthought. Here's an idea, it's a bit controversial but you have to think out of the box a bit when you're an underdog. The Toronto Raptors should propose to the NBA that they'd be willing to play & more importantly HOST the Late (9:30pm/10pm EST slot) for a Thurs night TNT game and/or Fri night ESPN/ESPN 2 game vs. a Western Conference Team at the ACC.

Look back a number of years, John Calipari when he was the Head Coach at UMass opened a lot of eyes and ticked off some folks by his willingness to play late games (even at Midnight) on ESPN to get the necessary exposure to attract and retain players to make his program a 'Desired' location. You've got to have a little PT Barnum salesmanship in you and some folks might not like it but for most (if it was only once or twice a season) it would be an 'Event' and an opportunity for Toronto to show the NBA that we do exist and more importantly, we love Hoops and we're here to make a stand and we're here to stay. Start winning and then you play at 7pm!! Just a thought, check out where UMass ended up, The NCAA Final Four. Believe me , I was an NCAA Division 1 Head Coach at the time and players suddenly took notice and it became a 'cool' place to consider playing. Can't always accept the 'same old--same old'.
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