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Thread: We Still the North, for better or worse: a brief history of the Toronto Raptors coming up short.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran KeonClark's Avatar
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    Default We Still the North, for better or worse: a brief history of the Toronto Raptors coming up short.

    I felt this article deserves it's own thread. A professional writer on a major us site who is also a fan of the team, very well done. He touches on Vince, Paul Pierce, the current team, the past teams, with lots of biting humor and introspective opinion. I find he's really not wrong with anything said and has a good perspective. Give it a read. I posted a couple excerpts for the lazy among you.



    https://www.theringer.com/nba/2017/1...treadmill-team

    The Raptors have some nice young players, including the re-signed Norman Powell and Jakob Poeltl, who shot 93 percent from the field in the preseason, but nobody who looks like a future All-Star. They say they’re going to take*more 3-point shots*this season, but other than the newly acquired C.J. Miles, there isn’t a true long-range specialist in the bunch. They have Serge Ibaka for a full campaign, but if they start him at center instead of Valanciunas—who may be set to take on a Greg Monroe–like sixth man role—there’s nobody to play power forward (especially not Bruno Caboclo, who has gone from being “two years away from being two years away” to being “a year away from not being on an NBA roster”). They won’t miss DeMarre Carroll; they will miss P.J. Tucker and movie buff Patrick Patterson (the NBA player most likely to see*The Square*in order*to fill out*his 2017 top-10 list). Looking ahead to the next eight months has the same preordained feeling as replaying that Vince miss from 16 years ago. It might look close there for a bit, but we know what’s coming. Clank.
    --------

    That’s why all the insults launched over the years by journalists and players, even ones in Raptors uniforms like former All-Star Antonio Davis, who said he didn’t want his kids going to school in Canada, sting so badly. The worry isn’t that the Raptors will be relocated like the Grizzlies, but that they’ll stay right where they are, in every sense, stuck in a vicious cycle of seasons that will end, at best, with a miss and not a make
    11/20/16 Lest we forget - The Sacramento Screw Job.
    We will not go quietly in the night. We will rage against the dying light. We will study every buzzer beater with intensified might, because somethin with the NBA doesn't smell right.

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    Raptors Republic Starter BadDinosaur's Avatar
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    Quote KeonClark wrote: View Post
    I felt this article deserves it's own thread. A professional writer on a major us site who is also a fan of the team, very well done. He touches on Vince, Paul Pierce, the current team, the past teams, with lots of biting humor and introspective opinion. I find he's really not wrong with anything said and has a good perspective. Give it a read. I posted a couple excerpts for the lazy among you.



    https://www.theringer.com/nba/2017/1...treadmill-team
    High quality read, indeed. It's just that I don't see this whole winning-losing as black and white as he does. For me it's more of different shades of gray. The rest of the article is great.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer Nilanka's Avatar
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    Good read. A tad pessimistic for opening night, though. But like you said, can't say he's wrong.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar JimiCliff's Avatar
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    There's some huge oversights here. Not nearly enough respect/time is given to what Ujiri's accomplished while he's been here. And, a real basketball writer (not a film critic who, for some reason, was given a basketball column) might point out that while sure, you could call us treadmill, we're also sneakily moving into 'amassing-assets-that-could-be-flipped-for-superstar' territory, a la Houston.
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    Raptors Republic Veteran KeonClark's Avatar
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    Quote JimiCliff wrote: View Post
    There's some huge oversights here. Not nearly enough respect/time is given to what Ujiri's accomplished while he's been here. And, a real basketball writer (not a film critic who, for some reason, was given a basketball column) might point out that while sure, you could call us treadmill, we're also sneakily moving into 'amassing-assets-that-could-be-flipped-for-superstar' territory, a la Houston.
    I think they gave him the column because it wasn't meant to be a straight basketball personnel/strategy discussion, but also largely a perspective on the view from inside canada, inside toronto, inside the ACC. We are a very passionate but tortured group, and the issue of losing a bit of our revelancy to the maple leafs right now also can't be ignored.
    11/20/16 Lest we forget - The Sacramento Screw Job.
    We will not go quietly in the night. We will rage against the dying light. We will study every buzzer beater with intensified might, because somethin with the NBA doesn't smell right.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar JimiCliff's Avatar
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    Quote KeonClark wrote: View Post
    I think they gave him the column because it wasn't meant to be a straight basketball personnel/strategy discussion, but also largely a perspective on the view from inside canada, inside toronto, inside the ACC. We are a very passionate but tortured group, and the issue of losing a bit of our revelancy to the maple leafs right now also can't be ignored.
    I suppose. Personally, I'm not a big fan of most of the Ringer's written content. It's generally pretty superficial, and this article certainly fits that bill. The 'little guys from the North-of-the-Border with an inferiority complex' angle is beyond tired. I can't tell you how many times I've read it before. It is, hands down, the most obvious and vapid take on the franchise one can make.

    And it's a thesis that only holds water if you omit mentioning all of the positives of the Ujiri era. You can make the case that Masai's among the very best executives in all of professional sports, let alone the NBA. And he seems to be committed to the city for the long haul. We're incredibly lucky we have him. Write about THAT.
    Last edited by JimiCliff; Today at 11:38 AM.
    "Stop eating your sushi."
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    Raptors Republic Superstar Mess's Avatar
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    Quote KeonClark wrote: View Post
    I think they gave him the column because it wasn't meant to be a straight basketball personnel/strategy discussion, but also largely a perspective on the view from inside canada, inside toronto, inside the ACC. We are a very passionate but tortured group, and the issue of losing a bit of our revelancy to the maple leafs right now also can't be ignored.
    I can and definitely will ignore the Leafs, thanks.

    I suppose he sort of hits on the duality of Raptor fans (though it's not that different from any other fan base really). But he could have put their timeline into better context/perspective. I mean, Steve Francis was drafted 18 yrs ago, Carter's miss was 17 yrs ago, Bosh only being a 2-time 1st round loser that left was 7 years ago.

    He says fans are currently "stuck in a vicious cycle of seasons" but comparing this treadmill bullshit to actual viscous seasons where only the delusion of hope for a brighter future got you by, - is nonsense. Same goes for him being frustrated "to see a team that, as currently constructed, isn’t going to win a title bump up against the luxury tax". I guess I just don't agree with a fan who would prefer to cheer for a team that, if neither way has a real shot at the title, would lose 50 games rather than win 50 games. And one who would want that a 50 win team to actively and consciously sabotage itself for a low probability of increased success after some indeterminate period of time.


    "Brief History of the Toronto Raptors Coming Up Short" is overwhelmed by the "Lengthy History of the Toronto Raptors Coming Nowhere Close".
    Two beer away from being two beers away.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran KeonClark's Avatar
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    Quote Mess wrote: View Post
    I can and definitely will ignore the Leafs, thanks.

    I suppose he sort of hits on the duality of Raptor fans (though it's not that different from any other fan base really). But he could have put their timeline into better context/perspective. I mean, Steve Francis was drafted 18 yrs ago, Carter's miss was 17 yrs ago, Bosh only being a 2-time 1st round loser that left was 7 years ago.

    He says fans are currently "stuck in a vicious cycle of seasons" but comparing this treadmill bullshit to actual viscous seasons where only the delusion of hope for a brighter future got you by, - is nonsense. Same goes for him being frustrated "to see a team that, as currently constructed, isn’t going to win a title bump up against the luxury tax". I guess I just don't agree with a fan who would prefer to cheer for a team that, if neither way has a real shot at the title, would lose 50 games rather than win 50 games. And one who would want that a 50 win team to actively and consciously sabotage itself for a low probability of increased success after some indeterminate period of time.


    "Brief History of the Toronto Raptors Coming Up Short" is overwhelmed by the "Lengthy History of the Toronto Raptors Coming Nowhere Close".
    I thought he does approach our current state from both a positive and negative angle?
    So for those of us who lived through and did our best to cheer for all kinds of bad (and worse) Raptors squads over the years, from the “we can’t score” Kevin O’Neill Raptors to the “wow, Mike James is averaging 20 points per game” Raptors to the “Chris Bosh is going to punch Andrea Bargnani” Raptors to thedancing-Hedo Raptors, the “We the North” era has been pretty great. And a season of respectably-competitive-playoff-qualifying, “maybe if LeBron comes down with the flu we could sneak into the Finals” Raptors doesn’t sound so bad.
    11/20/16 Lest we forget - The Sacramento Screw Job.
    We will not go quietly in the night. We will rage against the dying light. We will study every buzzer beater with intensified might, because somethin with the NBA doesn't smell right.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar slaw's Avatar
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    I suppose he sort of hits on the duality of Raptor fans (though it's not that different from any other fan base really). But he could have put their timeline into better context/perspective. I mean, Steve Francis was drafted 18 yrs ago, Carter's miss was 17 yrs ago, Bosh only being a 2-time 1st round loser that left was 7 years ago
    Yeah, this article seemed a little dated: feels like it was written by a guy in his late 30s/early 40s. Look, if you are 20 years old now, Carter's miss happened when you were 4. A lot of the teenage Raps fans never even saw VC in a Raps uniform and none of them even know who Steven Francis is (without looking him up on the internets). Even for me, and I was there in Philly that fateful day covered in beer and ketchup sitting directly behind VC as he raised up....., only have distant memories of the VC era. And I'd be willing to bet that there's a good chunk of current Raps fans who never watched the Bosh teams.

    Each organization has various iterations of its team and it's those iterations that have to be looked at - you can't judge the Ujiri front office by what happened in 10 years ago. The current iteration (what I'll call the Lowry/Derozan era) is pretty damn good. They aren't great. They aren't champions. But they are pretty damn good. In context, I believe they have more wins than any EC team in the last 4 seasons. That's impressive.

    I think where this article falls down is with one of its underlying premises: that there is something unique about Toronto's place in the league. There really isn't. Teams are bad. Then they are good. Then they are bad again. Some win rings. Most don't. The "Toronto as hinterland of the NBA" may have been a talking point 20 years ago but it's not all that relevant, let alone material, anymore.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Mess's Avatar
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    Quote KeonClark wrote: View Post
    I thought he does approach our current state from both a positive and negative angle?
    Yeah I guess...his next line after "And a season of respectably-competitive-playoff-qualifying, “maybe if LeBron comes down with the flu we could sneak into the Finals” Raptors doesn’t sound so bad." is "Except to those for whom it does."

    So like I did say, he hits both sides but the balance is off to me.
    Two beer away from being two beers away.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar S.R.'s Avatar
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    Quote slaw wrote: View Post
    I think where this article falls down is with one of its underlying premises: that there is something unique about Toronto's place in the league. There really isn't. Teams are bad. Then they are good. Then they are bad again. Some win rings. Most don't. The "Toronto as hinterland of the NBA" may have been a talking point 20 years ago but it's not all that relevant, let alone material, anymore.
    I very much agree.

    Overall, the NBA in Toronto (and by extension Canada) has been a resounding success. Toronto is a great sports city, but that's ignored to create narratives where the Raptors are either on the precipe of a Grizzlies-like fate, or where the Raptors fan base is in some kind of pre-championship Cleveland tortured-by-all-the-losing state. Neither of these things are true.

    Toronto supports franchises really well, basketball has grown exponentially in Canada (#1 source for non-US players on opening night), and while the Raptors have had more down years than up, as you say Slaw that's hardly unusual in a league with as little parity as the NBA.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Scraptor's Avatar
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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    I very much agree.

    Overall, the NBA in Toronto (and by extension Canada) has been a resounding success. Toronto is a great sports city, but that's ignored to create narratives where the Raptors are either on the precipe of a Grizzlies-like fate, or where the Raptors fan base is in some kind of pre-championship Cleveland tortured-by-all-the-losing state. Neither of these things are true.

    Toronto supports franchises really well, basketball has grown exponentially in Canada (#1 source for non-US players on opening night), and while the Raptors have had more down years than up, as you say Slaw that's hardly unusual in a league with as little parity as the NBA.
    I'm not sure either of those narratives apply to this article, which explicitly states we are not on a Grizzlies-like path in the closing paragraph.

    I thought the premise of the article was more about whether we're satisfied being on the treadmill.

    On a side note, here is how Blake Griffin views his team's success after five consecutive 50-win seasons.


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