Study Abroad Program: Toronto Raptors

 Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Jose Calderon, and Rasual Butler

 The five names featured are the Toronto Raptors starting line up.  These individuals are the concluding reason the Raptor franchise needs to relocate.  I apologize to all the Canadian’s this angers, but your country doesn’t deserve an NBA team.  So please follow Vancouver’s path or hell move the franchise to Vancouver!! This team has existed for 15 years and they’ve given us a few thing’s: They gave Isaiah Thomas his first general manager role (I won’t even elaborate), hideous purple, dinosaur infused jersey’s, and lackluster competition.  Before I continue highlighting their faults and misdoings, I’ll show what they’ve done right.

Since these dromaseosaurid theropod dinosaurs emerged they’ve drafted very well.  Discussing their expansion draft selection is like talking about this year’s Republican candidate purely a waste of time.  However, they drafted quite well with selecting Damon Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, and Chris Bosh.  The fact they drafted both Chauncey Billups and Tracy McGrady in the same draft is impressive.  The second impressive statistic I discovered is that they’ve almost entirely have been top 15 in attendance in the NBA.  Than again there’s only one NBA franchise within good ol’ Canada’s border and their population of thirty-four million helps.  Vince Carter is the last highlight of this organization.  Vince Carter’s playing days with Toronto is the closest things that rival what Blake Griffin is doing.  Dunking prowess and tenacity describe Carter’s play that provided the Raptor’s with a superstar and a marketing magnet.   Besides making us believe that Toronto was a basketball city, he led us to believe it was an NBA city as well.   Two/third’s of all the Raptors playoff appearances came from the Vince’s presence. The other 1/3 has occurred by the largely non-competive Eastern Conference and a Raptor-looking player Chris Bosh.  Also, a little tidbit, though no evidence Vince Carter garnered such popularity that Entourage used his namesake for main character Vince Chase.

Time to get to business.  Why is there basketball in Canada?  David Stern can you please email me back about this question.

Expanding the league in Canada sounds great on paper.  This organization has sustained itself unlike counterpart Vancouver and is relatively profitable.   The accountant’s say it’s benefiting the league, but fans know it’s diluting the league.   No one want’s to be involved with this team or the management.  Today’s market consists of super teams or small-market cities with a “star.”  Toronto’s future look’s bleak regarding courting any stars to town.  Chris Bosh straight up packed his bags and left town.  He didn’t pull any Dwight Howard or King James antics and said, “If they put talent around me, I’ll stay.”  He understood Toronto and Canada is a Hockey province (yes I wrote province or is it territory?) and will always be.

Describing the current roster is oversaturated with overrated international players and lifelong role players.  Jerry C. can maneuver a great Olympic squad, but couldn’t assemble an NBA team if his life depending on it.  Toronto’s current established player at the moment is Andrea Barganani, who was correctly drafted, but is far from high-caliber player.  He’s the modern-day stat stuffer along with his counterpart Jose Calderon.  Jose was among last year’s assist leaders, which means absolutely nothing.  Toronto’s last hope lies in the hands of once USC product DeMar DeRozan.  DeMar was a raw, athletic high flyer who resembles the likeness of Toronto’s old “Vincsanity.” He’s developing a scoring prowess and has flashes of talent, but he’s a work in progress.  If I discuss the other nine players both you and myself will stop carrying about this article.  So I’ll jump back into my reasoning.

This conversation is the opposite of the NFL’s current discussion of placing a team in Los Angeles.  In that scenario they could financially support a team, but does the NFL want another team in California? Everyone recalls the Los Angeles Ram’s and look they moved to ST.LOUIS!!  This move equated into a couple of Super Bowl appearances and the “greatest show on turf.”   They were patient and rebranded their image.  This might lead you to believe well if an NFL team can succeed in ST.LOUIS why not Toronto?

I’ll provide an oddly descriptive analysis, which will blow your mind.  Toronto Raptors is the NBA’s study abroad program.   It sound’s ridiculous right?  Hear me out.  Can you recall a lifetime Raptor?  This question sounds unfair, due to their relatively young lifespan as a franchise and the NBA’s market.  What game-changing player entertained the thought of heading to Toronto in recent years?   People that disagree the study abroad concept state it’s a small market franchise.  No way in hell is Toronto a small market franchise; there target market consists of the entire country of CANADA.  Are there even Canadian professional basketball leagues?  What nearby team competes for the same viewership or market share?  Player’s head to Toronto for two reasons: there traded for cap relief or nothing (it’s Toronto what players? don’t argue the sign-and-trade of Chris Bosh) or they don’t want to play overseas.

The small market excuse is losing its credibility as organizations like Memphis, Oklahoma City, and every Western Conference small market team defy those stereotypes.  This organization lost its centerpiece after the bubble burst in the early 2000’s. Disgruntling the only attraction worth watching leaves your fair weathered fans, back to hockey.  Toronto should use their international minutes and ask Oklahoma City or Memphis if they consult competitors.

I’ll remind you that I mentioned Memphis above.  Memphis was brought here from the good ol Canada in the early 2000’s.  This organization is succeeding financially and producing teams worth viewing.  Memphis transitioned under the close monitoring of NBA guru Jerry West.  They’ve drafted well O.J Mayo, Rudy Gay, Gasol brothers, and lured Zach Randolph via free agency.  This teams foundation was laid through the draft, but is enticing to players in the league.  There’s no reason to believe Toronto couldn’t replicate this similar scenario.

Where would they relocate?

Seattle, Lexington (oh wait, the Raptor’s squad would compete with the Wildcats, edge goes to Kentucky), St.Louis, Kansas City, or any place within the border.  If they’d put an NBA franchise in Charlotte, I have faith they’d put one in Albuquerque.  Honestly a few good things came from Canada Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber, and Degrassi (Drake).  We must understand some market’s are just not made to be tapped.   So the underlining message of this post is that the Toronto Raptors should reaffialate themselves into a NBDL team.

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