Dino Nation: Pops Likes Us He Really Likes Us
Old 04-24-2009, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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In my recent interview with Jack Armstrong, he and I got talking about how the mentality of Toronto needs to change. Well I failed in that I admit it. I can't help it think it is programed in my brain at this point. My mom is a fan of the Blue Jays and watches them quite a bit. The combination of their great start and the Raptors season being done has lead me to watching them a little bit. It is also a way to spend time with her which is always a good thing. Anyway as you may know already Pops Mensah-Bonsu was at the game last night. He said about 3 or 4 times that he hopes to be back with the Raptors next season. Anytime a player says he wants to be a Raptor you get warm and fuzzy feelings. I think we all get that way as most of us feel that players would not come to Toronto or want to be here. I am sure we all have a mental list of players we NEVER would think would come to Toronto. Here is mine off the top of my head.

Lebron James
Kobe Bryant
Andre Iguodala
Brandon Roy
Lamarcus Aldridge
Dwyane Wade
Chris Paul
Shaq
Kevin Garnett
Carmelo Anthony

I am sure you have your own list as well. Anytime that anyone says they like Toronto and want to play here is like a shock. However why should it be? We have a great fan base. The city itself is better than a lot of others in the NBA. Sure it is a different country but it is not like we are like guys going to play in Europe.

So Pops likes us and wants to stay. He has never even had a long run in the NBA why would he not want to stay? We need to have some confidence and walk taller. However if you buy into the fact that Toronto is limited in who will come here. That means you also need to cut Colangelo some slack. If he is limited on who he can get to come here than he is playing with a disadvantage.

I find that the negative far seems to out weight the positive in Raptorland. I am not just talking now but all the time. Even when things go well people wonder if we can keep players if things are going to stay together. I refuse to believe the only way you avoid this problem is turn the Raptors into a Euro Team to do it. That seems to be the path Colangelo took to get team going in right direction when he got here. He brought in Garbo, Parker and Bargnani. Delfino was another although he is not from Europe. I think all fans in Canada still remember a pouting Steve Francis when he drafted by the Grizzlies. It was a slap in the face to people in Vancouver and to a lesser degree all across Canada.

I say enough of all of this. This sport is invented by a Canadian and Canada is a great country and Toronto is a great city. Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Chris Bosh or whoever comes along is lucky to be here in Toronto and in Canada. That is how we need to start thinking. People in New York just assume that everyone wants to play there. You know if you can make it there you'll make it anywhere. However not everyone wants to play in New York. It is a myth that is created out of confidence. We here in Toronto need that confidence.
Source - Dino Nation Blog: Pops Likes Us He Really Likes Us.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
Unacceptable?! Did you see the pool? They flipped the bitch!

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I always hear about players who would "never play in Canada".

Out of curiousity of those that HAVE come here, has any basketball player ever said he didn't like the city?

Even Marion seems to have perked up a little bit rocking a blue jays hat at the bulls game last night haha
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Shaq loves it here. He comes every year for Caribana. Melo had a birthday party jam at a club in Toronto a few years ago.
I'm sure a few of those guys on the list love it here too.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Alonzo brings his family to Caribana every year.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The reason I can think that players don't like it here for a lack of a better term, is because of the taxes here. They should be thankful they don't work/live in Montreal.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
Unacceptable?! Did you see the pool? They flipped the bitch!

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The reason I can think that players don't like it here for a lack of a better term, is because of the taxes here. They should be thankful they don't work/live in Montreal.
The whole tax thing seems insane to me.

Wouldn't it then be fair for the league to allow an adjustment such that the NET salary is the same regardless of taxation?
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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when was the last time we had cap space to go after a superstar? This team never attempted to go after a star by clearing cap space. I want to see a guy refusing our offer (if it's the best one financially) before I agree that there's a significant difficulty in attracting free agents. Let's face it - the main reason free agents didn't want to come play here is because we (save for a few seasons) sucked big time.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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the Raps do blow chunks

I've never seen them attempt to reel in a big fish

Last edited by Windex; 04-24-2009 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I really dont' think the Caribana excuse holds any water...at least to me. Sure players come to that event and dig the nightlife here but Caribana happens in the hot summer...NBA players are here during the cold winter. The Jays don't seem to have a problems attracting top notch free agents and that has to at least be in part to the fact when the boys of summer are enjoying their off time in the Tdot, it's between 20 and 35 degrees like it is in most other places...a tradition of winning and two series titles doesn't hurt either but really Carabana and the Raptors have nothing in common except a similar address.
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When's the last time the Jays signed a top notch free agent?

Roger Clemens, 12 years ago after he had the worst season of his professional career?

The Raptors can't even get crappy guys like John Salmons and Maurice Taylor to come here even after they've agreed to sign.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When's the last time the Jays signed a top notch free agent?

Roger Clemens, 12 years ago after he had the worst season of his professional career?

The Raptors can't even get crappy guys like John Salmons and Maurice Taylor to come here even after they've agreed to sign.
Keep in mind they haven't spent much money in the past several years but when they actually went after guys they've had some good names come though.

BJ Ryan the year after he was an allstar and highly coveted.
Frank Thomas..okay so he was past his prime but still likely had suitors.
David Eckstein recent world series MVP.
A.J. Burnett was one of the better pitchers available at the time we signed him as well.

Consider Halladay could have gone anywhere and he resigned and the years before Rogers came on board when names like Molitor, Winfield, Cone and Clemens were commonplace signings.

All i'm saying is what happens in the summer in TO doesn't affect the Raps ability to sign players but there are likely fewer baseball players against coming here as they enjoy the city during it's best climate of the year.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If there were 20+ NBA teams in Canada (Toronto, MTL, Vancouver, Edmonton) and only 1 American team... let's say Washington. Someone, being born in Canada, might not really want to go play for that one American team lol. I personally would... but I understand where all these American players are coming from.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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half of the reason they don't come here has nothing to do with Canada itself, its more to do with the fact that they just want to remain in their home country and the other thing is that Raptors are a fairly new franchise so other teams just have that history behind them that makes them more appealing
players want to play for lets say the lakers because they think of the showtime, the shaq/kobe
they want to play for boston because of that bill russell allure, bulls because they want to be like michael jordan
face it, most of the teams in the nba all have something like that behind them that gives FAs a connection to them, Raptors have nothing
and add in the fact that so many of the players are american so they want to play for their home city first off
the fact that Toronto is a nice place doesn't even factor into anything because when the season starts half the time they're on the road and the other half of the time they're playing at home or in a practice or some kind of appearance event, and in the off season everyone goes home or to some development camp, so really how much time do the players spend enjoying the city
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