Basketball Blues: Why the Raptors Stink
Old 10-22-2012, 11:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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We tune in to the Knicks game with about ten minutes left on the clock. The Raptors lead by ten points, but I guess the ending before it comes. “Watch,” I mutter. “They will lose.”

And how. First, Lin ties the score with 1:05 remaining. Then, as the final seconds tick down, he calmly dribbles toward the Raptors’ three-point line. Five… four… three… Lin rises up and daggers a deep jumpshot. The ball rips the net with half a second to go.

New York 90, Toronto 87.

Months later, the Raptors finish the season in purgatory, caught midway between the playoffs—where amazing happens—and rock bottom, where the biggest losers get the best chances of restocking talent in the summer draft lottery. Stuck in the NBA’s middle is a bad place to be; stuck in the NBA’s middle and comfortable is even worse.

Yet that’s where the Raptors will find themselves again on Halloween, when they lace up their kicks to try again. Around the league, there’s a whiff of optimism about their 2012–13 roster, but around Toronto no one expects them to contend for a championship. This isn’t that kind of sports town. They’re not that kind of team.
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The Bosh era was ultimately as successful as the Carter era, which is to say the team briefly threatened to become good, if not great. In 2006–07, they took their first division title. And still they lost in the first round of the playoffs, to an underdog Nets team that featured a rejuvenated Carter. It was a minor mercy that the series ended in New jersey instead of in Toronto.

Bosh became the latest high-profile defector in the summer of 2010, landing with the Miami Heat, where he joined James and Wade to form the NBA’s most potent lineup. They became champions together earlier this year, forged by the fire of playing under team president Pat Riley, a basketball lifer who demands maximum commitment from his players, coaches, managers, and minions.
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If a rising tide lifts all boats, then a shitty hockey team sinks all hope. Upon being acquired by MLSE, the Raptors inherited a culture of losing: the Maple Leafs have not hoisted the Stanley Cup since 1967. Nor have they needed to; the team is the National Hockey League’s most valuable franchise. Within MLSE, which also owns soccer’s floundering Toronto FC, winning rarely comes first. The message from the top of the organization to its managers and coaches is not win, but earn.

In professional sports, however, few championships are won without risk. For the Raptors, the greatest risk not taken remains glaringly obvious: overspending to keep McGrady, then overspending again to shape an administration capable of managing his and Carter’s expanding egos. It’s unlikely that a team with that core would have been in position to draft either Bosh or current forward Andrea Bargnani (who was a No. 1 draft pick in 2006 and has yet to play up to the standard that achievement implies), but talent functions like a magnet, and who can guess which dominant free agents would have wanted to join a Raptors team that actually lived up to its name.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Harsh
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Harsh
not really... pretty much bang on, sadly.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not really. Spiteful angry NYC writing that only shows how hurt they are that in the last 15 years, Toronto has been more successful than NY.

Go fuck yourself whoever wrote that.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check that, he's a canuck, which makes him even worse, he's one of those ever annoying douchebags that sells out his own people to a larger audience hoping to be taken seriously because he isn't being a biased writer.

Go fuck yourself.

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Old 10-23-2012, 08:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Funny thing is, I made a thread about this exactly a few months ago...I should be a writer
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The message from the top of the organization to its managers and coaches is not win, but earn.
Yep
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yep
unfortunately that's what a business is about. I'd say it applies much more to the Knicks of the NHL than it does to the raps.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Timing of this tread is just terrible. The team is playing well right now, and everyone is excited for the season to start.

No one needs this!
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Timing of this tread is just terrible. The team is playing well right now, and everyone is excited for the season to start.

No one needs this!
A dose of reality
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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meh, were all well aware, we don't need it. Not after a 5-1 start to get everyone excited
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Why the Raptors stink?

2004: Vince Carter trade and Hoffa draft pick
2005: Two lottery picks nets the franchise Charlie V and Joey Graham
2006: No. 1 Overall pick spent on Andrea Bargnani
2008: JO trade
2009: Hedo signing
2010: Bosh leaves Raptors

I have not included 2007, Kapono signing was a minor disaster.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I still have no idea what happened to Kapono
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I still have no idea what happened to Kapono
he's a free agent
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I was referring to his invisible shot once he got here...its like he forgot how to shoot.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I was referring to his invisible shot once he got here...its like he forgot how to shoot.
no shaq = no open looks.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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even when he was open...he just...froze. Maybe it IS cold here?
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Kapono was never a volume shooter. The problem when he came here, is that he wanted to expand his game. That has been the case with half a dozen guys, if not more, and it's not entirely their fault. As I've been saying in another thread, without a clear cut core providing a team identity, you end up with guys like Kapono trying to do too much.

It was a bad signing based on what he was expected to do, and considering that they needed another true core piece instead of an offensive role player.

I like how the team is turning a corner now, and being less interested in marketing as opposed to laying a foundation that a good culture can stand upon for years to come. That's what's been missing, and that's a good part of why players leave or choose not to come here.
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