Passion Starts Here
Since 2000, I can honestly count the number of Toronto Raptors games I’ve missed. Let me tell you, it could probably be done using your fingers and toes. I give a lot of credit to Vince Carter and the Slam Dunk Contest that year that really sparked my interest. I was a fan before, and cheered when we beat the Chicago Bulls the year they had the best regular season record of all time, but my true passion began that night with a 360 windmill.
This dedication has had its ups.. and believe me.. its downs. In 2001 VC missed a shot in game 7 that would have put us in the Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. Since that night, we haven’t made it out of the first round alive.
We’ve had moronic players like Derrick Dial, Robert Archibald, Lonny Baxter. We drafted Rafael Aruajo 8th overall before a guy like Andre Iguodala. We traded our franchise Vince Carter for absolute zero.
Through this, I watch every single game, and I cheer like we are in the Finals. I am a realistic sports fan. I knew the team had no chance at a ring, or even a playoff spot, but that didn’t stop me from watching and cheering every single game.
Then Brian Colangelo came along. Perhaps one of the greatest basketball minds on the planet today. He traded Aruajo for SOMETHING, let alone a dude (Kris Humphries) who actually proved productive. When you can trade literally THEE worst player in the NBA for something, you are good. Last season expectations were high, but the team bombed. So what did he do? He kept out core of Bosh, Calderon and Bargnani and got rid of EVERYONE else. Yup, 13 faces gone, 13 new faces in.
Not just any new faces. Guys like Jarrett Jack, Reggie Evans, Antoine Wright. Guys who play D. And we drafted a gem in Demar Derozan, who bias aside, will end up being the second best player behind Blake Griffin from this draft.
I have cheered knowing we will lose 60 games. When I can cheer knowing we have a legit shot at doing SOMETHING in the playoffs this year, it’s outta control.
Let’s Go Raptors!