Welcome to another delightful installment in the web's best NBA team previews. So delightful that you will be filled with delight and astonishment and delightful delight. To check out all the entries in the series, you can click here.
Today, we will be discussing the Toronto Raptors, better known by their street name, bestowed upon them by our beloved North American youth, the Torsuckto Sucktors. Ahh, youth.
Team That I Don't Like, Despite A Few Cool Things
What I Like
Chris Bosh is, as you might have heard, a very skilled basketball player and arguably the best young power forward in the game. He also seems like a kind and thoughtful young man. He is also one of the most brilliant and adept adopters of new media; I enjoy his tweeting and youtubing. Marco Belinelli is a sweet-shooting, potentially incendiary young player who is a refugee of the once-valiant and fun Warriors. Hedo Turkoglu is 6'10" freak at "small" forward who, at that position, embodies a host of mismatches and problems that flummoxed other teams all last season when he was on the Magic.
Indeed, with Bargnani and Bosh each playing away from the basket, Hedo causing other mismatches, and Calderon and Belinelli keying a bizarre brand of psuedo-Eurostyle basketball, this team has the potential to be really weird and interesting. That alone is worth celebrating.
What I Don't Like
The Toronto Raptors basketball culture is foul and villainous. The fans, organization, and media of the fine city of Toronto are best known to me for driving away/getting rid of some of the finest players (and some of my favorite players) of the recent era. I am talking here about Vince Carter. I am talking here about Tracy McGrady. These guys were amazing at their peaks. They were on this team at the same time. The Raptors ruined it. Instead of having one of the most dynamic and exciting teams of the early part of this decade they doomed themselves to mediocrity and liberated Mr. Carter and Mr. McGrady. This is worth mentioning because the foul and villainous basketball culture of Toronto is doing the same thing to Chris Bosh. Idiotic calls for him to be traded reaching an insane and inane fevered pitch as the trade deadline approached last season, and unless somehow the Raptors get off to a roaring start, expect the foul and villainous basketball culture to blame their star and try to run him out of town. For shame.
Also, it bears pointing out that when people talk about how the Raptors play with a European style infused into their own, it is not as fun as you might think. You might be thinking, "Oh, like D'Antoni's Suns! Free-wheeling gunning with great ball movement!" but you would be wrong to think that. The Raptors are not like that. They are the opposite side of the D'Antoni Suns coin: All the stupid and tedious things about European basketball that don't really translate well without any of the fun parts. So yes, it's weird and interesting. But, no, it is not fun.
Worth mentioning: The Raptors are one ill-advised Chris Bosh trade away from having a starting five composed solely of Europeans. How mustachioed.
Jose Calderon has a pig farm. If there is any lesson to be learned from Guy Ritchie, it is "Never trust a man who owns a pig farm."
So, this begs the question: Is Jose Calderon keeping a pig farm so that he can more efficiently dispose of bodies accrued during his activities with the Spanish mob? The answer, which I think we must arrive at, is yes. Jose Calderon is disposing of corpses at the behest of the Spanish mob. Now, here is the interesting question: What is the extent of his involvement with organized crime? Does he only get rid of bodies or is he the source of some of the bodies? How high up is he?
From his uncanny aim at the free throw line, I think it's only logical to assume that Calderon is literally a sharp-shooting assassin, responsible for dozens of murders ala Steve Nash, that other famous Canadian killer. He takes down his own targets and disposes of the bodies.
By virtue of his millionaire status, I think it's safe to assume that he's fairly high up, or indeed, at the top and wields some powerful influence as an underworld figure in Spain. Now, I am not being accusatory, but consider this: Who used to be the starting point guard of the Spanish National Team? Jose Calderon. Who is the current starting point guard of the Spanish National Team? Ricky Rubio. Now, I'm not saying that there is a vendetta between the two, but don't you find it suspicious that Ricky Rubio was strangely blocked from entering the NBA by sinister, mysterious international forces? I'm not saying that a Spanish crime syndicate conspired with a clearly terrified for his life David Kahn to prevent Ricky Rubio from entering the NBA. I just want you to consider the facts. (Please don't kill me Mr. Calderon).
Mid-season, the Raptors will trade Chris Bosh to the Orlando Magic for Marcin Gortat and Michael Pietrus. Chris Bosh will average 30/20/3 over the last half of the season. The Raptors will lose all but three of their games over the same stretch. Ricky Rubio, David Kahn, and yours truly will vanish inexplicably. No bodies will be found.
Watch them on the off-chance that their new look and style is special and intriguing, but feel free to stop-watching their particular brand of European influenced sucking when they inevitably stay the same. Watch Chris Bosh do amazing things until they drive him out of town. Politely applaud Jose Calderon or else.