Unless you are a Toronto Raptors fan.
Lets face it. The C-raptors have been one of the worse NBA teams in recent memory, we would be well on our way to becoming the Clippers of the East if Atlanta wasn't so bad (sorry had to find a silver lining somewhere). Maple Leaf sports isnt trying to win anything but then again they do the same thing with the Maple Leafs hockey squad and have probably sold out every game since 1970 so why change the way they operate?
I guess that's what you get when your sports group is financed by a Teachers Pension fund. Hey I cant blame them, I wouldn'’t want to risk my investment on these bums too much either.
Actually if you think of it on another level aside from the Toronto Argos in the CFL, who one can watch for an entire season for the price of one nose-bleed tickets to a Leafs game, there are no actual competitive sports teams in Toronto. Toronto may be the worst sports city in North America.
Aside from the Leafs and the Raptors the Jay pretty much suck too. Rogers bought the Blue Jays and has played cheap ball umm I mean money ball for years now quite satisfied to competitive for third sport in the AL East and the Raptors and Leafs have not really challenged for championships in recent memory.
Indeed, when Joe Carter, Robbie Alomar. Paul Molitor, Dave Stewart, Dave Winfield and the rest of the World Series champs of 92 and 93 left Toronto that signaled the end of Toronto seriously competing for accolades and championships.
Well at least with Hockey one can afford to be mediocre in Canada as the core audience would probably pay to watch hockey even if three Billy goats, a Chihuahua and an ostrich lace up the skates in Maple Leaf colors. Such is the fanaticism of that sport in Toronto. With Basketball however that naa gone mek it! The Raptors have lost their competitiveness of late and it's showing in their ratings and their attendance. I for one have not been to a game in the past two seasons after having been to at least one in all the other previous seasons. I just cant handle the aura around the team right now, that's my excuse. The Raptors while not whipping boys have not really competed. They have been nowhere near the top of the league in any category of late except in the number of players named Williams (Alvin, Eric, Aaron at the current moment).
Our former GM was fired quite rightly after failing to put a competitive team together but our new GM came in and traded our star player Vince Carter for what amounts to a bag of magic beans. Well hopefully we will find some Golden eggs at the top of the beanstalk but in the meantime what do we do?
Oh don't get me wrong, the Vince trade was the way to go, we needed to be rid of his punk ass in order to rebuild. Vince is a great athlete but clearly wasn't playing to the top of his ability when he was here. Maybe he was Jdid or maybe he just stopped trying but he was adding to the aura of mediocrity and he had to go. The issue isn'’t his leaving its what we got in return. Couldn't we have gotten more for him than two Williams, draft picks and Alonzo Mourning who we knew would never play here but still ended up cutting and yet paying so that he could pursue his dreams of a championship next to Shaq in Miami?
Misteps like these, the Arajoa draft pick last year, and possibly the questionable picks this year and the ability to trade away some of our baggage for players we need (like a real Centre) have led one to wonder when we will or rather if we will ever get our act together.
I still hold out hope that the Villenueva and Graham picks can become solid contributors if not stars on the team and wont judge the GM too harshly for making those picks yet but looking down the lineup I get the feeling that we are no better than we were last year while every other team in the east has actually improved. New York picked up a true centre in Eddy Curry, Shaq has J Will and Toine, and the list goes on but aside from our new rookies we made no other moves. What gives?
All that to say that as much as I love basketball this is going to be a long season as a Raptors fan. I'’m not giving up though, I love this game too much. I may actually even go to a game just to see the rookies play plus if the Raptors suck I've still got Detroit to cheer for.