You’d normally expect Gay’s teammate Amir Johnson to come up with an idea like this. However, it’s good to see the small forward making the effort to integrate himself with Toronto.
This is a big year for Gay, who is preparing for his first full season with the Raptors. Let’s hope the team doesn’t come out ‘flat’ to start the 2013-14 campaign, otherwise it might ‘puncture’ their hopes of challenging for the playoffs.
According to multiple reports, the news basketball fans in Canada have been waiting for is about to finally come true: Toronto is set to host the 2016 NBA All-Star game.
An official announcement is expected soon, after Toronto outbid their main opponent, Cleveland. The event, one of the biggest weekends on the sporting calendar, will tie in with the Raptors 20th anniversary season.
MLSE began their bidding process last February and the decision clinches one of Tim Leiweke’s initial goals when he first became CEO and President. Torontonians can look forward to all the usual festivities and events, including the celebrity game and slam dunk contest.
I thought it was just women who were obsessed by shoes, but apparently not. It appears that NBA players, including the Raptors DeMar DeRozan, also own a ridiculous amount of footwear:
It’s often argued that a person’s compulsion is the ‘hobby’ itself, rather than whatever it is they’re actually obsessed with. If true, maybe Dwane Casey can get DeRozan to transfer his addiction to maniacally doing everything within his power to help the team win during the upcoming season.
If the shooting guard can be half as successful as he is at collecting sneakers, the Raptors will be flying into the playoffs next April.
When you’re a professional athlete, especially a high-profile one, there are certain benefits that us mere mortals could only hope to enjoy. Look no further than Canada’s very own Sidney Crosby jumping the queue at his local DMV office.
One of the other advantages is the increased likelihood of bumping into/being allowed access to stars from other entertainment industries. Evidence the Raptors Rudy Gay getting the opportunity to chill out with Snoop Dogg.
With Gay accepting that he has to be more of a leader for the Raptors this season, we can only hope the rapper didn’t lead him astray. Let’s just say, when Snoop asked the 2006 eight overall draft pick to fly the friendly skies, he wasn’t talking about practising dunking.
I’ll admit I’m not someone who spends much time thinking about having children. (But then, I’m not even particularly bothered about getting married. Yep, that’s right ladies, I’m one hell of a catch.) As such, I totally empathise with the look on Landry Fields face as he and Elaine Alden headed to the hospital on Sunday for the birth of their child:
Fields looks like the full realisation of what he’s done has finally hit him. Kudos to the 25-year old for not doing a runner right there and then.
All joking aside, I’d still like to pass on my half-hearted congratulations to Fields and Alden, who gave birth to their son at 1:52 this morning. Purely for the benefit of our female readers, the happy couple named him Jackson James Fields and he weighed in at 7.8 lbs.
With his parents genes, you have to like the odds of Jackson growing up to become an NBA player or a model. (Or both!) On a scale of one to ten, how ridiculous is it that I’m already jealous of a kid that’s less than one day old?
I’m one of those rarest of commodities: An eternally optimistic Raptors fan. Even since first coming to Toronto in 2006 and going to the majority of home games during the 2006/07 campaign, I’ve been hooked.
(In my mind, the Raptors are still that same team, which finished with a franchise record-equalling 47 wins and clinched their first ever divisional title. Feel free to analyse that as you see appropriate.)
As such, I’ll admit I’m probably just a little bit too excited about the release of the NBA regular season schedule, which will be announced tomorrow evening at 6:00pm ET. And videos like this don’t help:
How can that not get you pumped for the new season?! Despite what the majority of media experts may believe, no one knows for sure how the 2013/14 season will pan out for the Raptors.
Let’s just say, whatever’s coming, I’ll happily take my chances with the likes of Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Rudy Gay.
Editors note: This now concludes Paul’s latest Raptors propaganda offering.
The Raptors signing of free agent Austin Daye to a two-year, $2 million deal, likely didn’t cause many ripples around the NBA. However, basketball fans in Canada are already impressed with how he appears to be embracing his move to Toronto.
Excited about joining the Raptors organization.! Ready to get to work and take advantage of this new opportunity
Of course, while this is all very well, fans will likely be wondering what the former Detroit Piston (who ironically was part of the three-team trade involving Rudy Gay and Jose Calderon) can bring to Toronto.
Raptors GM Masai Ujiri will be counting on Daye to strengthen the bench and stretch the floor with his three-point shooting. Certainly, the former 15th overall draft pick has the ability to produce, if this clip from last season is anything to go by:
Being a 6ft 11in small forward offers a unique matchup problem for opposing teams. Fingers crossed, this will be the case on a regular basis, as Toronto prepares for the first season of their new, and hopefully brighter, regime.
Even though I’m gutted that Chris Bosh still has a chance to win another championship, that was one hell of a game last night. Ray Allen was money when it mattered most, with perhaps the most memorable shot he’s ever hit in a long, distinguished career of clutch shooting.
In any event, it got me thinking and provided me with the impetus (i.e. excuse) to consider some of the best clutch shots in the history of the Raptors. As such, I now present the Raptors top five game-winning shots and in true NFL network style, we’re going to count them down from five to one:
5) DEMAR DEROZAN VS ORLANDO MAGIC
Last season was a campaign of ups and (mostly) downs for our beloved Raptors. One of the better ups was this buzzer-beater by DeMar DeRozan in Orlando. Whether it becomes the catalyst for him to take his game to another level, remains to be seen.
4) CHRIS BOSH VS WASHINGTON WIZARDS
My sports-hate for Chris Bosh is well-documented on this website. I actually didn’t like him, even when he was in Toronto. I always felt like he was a fraud, masquerading as a franchise player for the Raptors. I never bought it and often found my case proven in the key moments of tight games.
Having said all that, I guess showing the above game-winning shot actually sabotages my argument, (which wouldn’t be the first time.) In any event, nice shot Bosh. Now if you could choke just enough on Thursday night to stifle the Heats chances of winning, I’d really appreciate it.
3) TJ FORD VS L.A. CLIPPERS
This was a big moment for the Raptors during the 2006/07 season, when they were on the way to their first ever Division title. And to be able to prove they could win without Chris Bosh was huge, helped in no small way by shots like this one from TJ Ford.
(Apologies for my inability to find a shorter clip. Fast forward to the 1:20 mark if your pushed for time or just suffering from ADD. Mind you, if you do suffer from ADD, the chances are you’ve already stopped reading, making this whole paragraph irrelevant.)
2) VINCE CARTER VS BOSTON CELTICS
Like Bosh, we can sports-hate Vince Carter as much as we want. However, unlike Bosh I think we can all still agree Carter remains the best player ever to wear a Raptors jersey. His time in Toronto is jam-packed full of highlights, including this amazing buzzer-beater against the Celtics.
(For me, there’s something poignant about the commentator comment: “the stuff that legends are made of.” Despite everything Carter’s achieved as a player, there will always be the feeling that he still had another level to take his game to.)
1) MORRIS PETERSON VS WASHINGTON WIZARDS
Now admittedly, I’ve only been following the Raptors since 2006, when I first came to Toronto. As such, maybe that’s why this still remains my favourite moment as a fan. In many ways, it personified the special season the Raptors had in 2006/07 and still sends a shiver down my spine. Take a bow ‘Mo Pete’.
When I first heard the recent rumours about the Raptors potentially changing their team name and uniforms, I was unimpressed. If the franchise had been more successful since entering the league, no one would care what they wore or were called.
However, then Rudy Gay decided to appear on the Jimmy Kimmel show last night:
Has it really gotten so bad that the Raptors can’t even win a frickin’ game of Skype scavenger hunt? And losing to the former Mr Kardashian, Kris Humphries, just makes it ten times worse.
From Gay’s total lack of preparation (seriously, why would you decide to play from your mum’s house?!?!) to the look of utter despondency on his face as the contest was slipping away, I felt like I was watching a Raptors game.
I may now have to rethink my whole stance against revamping the image of the franchise. Tim Leiweke and company have to do something to turn the Raptors fortunes around.