Bryan Colangelo was once thought as the man who saved the franchise. He took the Raptors from 5 years removed from the playoffs to a first ever division title. But now fans loudly question the man they once just excepted as a genius for the most part. The faith in Bryan doing the right thing has been lost.
Jose Calderon was the people's choice for the starting point guard position on this basketball team. If they gave approval ratings for players like they do for players like is done for politicians, Jose would have had numbers like Barak Obama. But he is now got what the fans felt he deserved in the starting job at point guard. But many fans have not been as happy with the results of that. Calderon was billed as the best point guard in the east by some. He was a serious threat to make the All-Star Game in February. But it would seem clear after a start with minor injuries and a record that does not scream All Star to folks. Not to mention getting ripped on TNT by Kenny Smith who claimed Calderon was not good enough to be a starter. I don't think I would go that far. But people have become aware of the weak points of Jose and that have been made clear this season. Again it causes some to lose faith in him based on all of this.
Jermaine O'Neal was billed as a huge move that was going to make the Raptors contenders. He was refereed to time after time as a 6 time All Star. That is a fact but a misleading one. He had not been in awhile and to think he was going to be would be a mistake. He has also had his share of injuries prior to coming to Toronto. He has not had any major injuries in Toronto but has had some minor bumps along the way and has been in and out of the line-up. The guy that was billed as the answer to the Raptors problems has instead been just another question for the most part. I think he has done a good job personally. But the impact I felt he would have on the team as a whole just has not materialized. It all leads to a lack of faith in Colangelo for making the deal. It also leads to fans questioning if it is worth it. O'Neal has a massive contract and is the highest paid player on the Raptor roster. The serious fan understands that his contract is part of why he was brought here because it runs out in 2010 and offers the Raptors a huge amount of cap space in a year that could have the best free agent class ever? Chris Bosh is also one of the players that could be part of that list.
Andrea Bargnani has been taking a beating until recently for his play. Many fans were loudly calling for him to be traded. They have not been able to accept that guys like Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge were out there and had not been picked instead. But that is not looking at things rationally but fans tend not to be. Bottom line is Bargnani gets judged by that huge #1 that he was selected with and he has struggled to carry that weight. Some are growing a restored faith in him in recent days. But it is a shaky faith at best.
Even Chris Bosh was booed at the ACC this season proving that truly nobody was exempt from this lack of faith that has grown over the fan base. But as Jose Calderon became aware there is one other thing that I personally feel is the cherry on top of all of this. Calderon was not able to see the Raptors play the Wizards from his home as he recovered from his injury. He would learn that he was not able to get TSN 2. I seem to recall mentioning this issue before. Yeah that is the kick to the groin in all of this for fans. Even if you can find a way to be positive after all of the issues above. There were 25 games hanging out there that the average fan would have to scramble to find and watch. It all has lead to fans becoming upset about the Raptors as a whole. That is my take on why the buzz is gone.
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Jack Armstrong yesterday brought mention to the topic of trade rumors on the internet and mentioned the growing number of websites that spread these rumours. He asked about who you believe is these matters. I wanted to call in and give my take as someone who runs a site. I said to Jack that some sites will make up rumours as a way to get attention and after a few times people would start to get it and disregard it as bunk. I said that from my perspective it was all in the words you use to express things. I do my best to not misrepresent anything here. I am not going to tell you something is a fact if I do not know it is. I will not say something is going to happen if I can't confirm it. Will I say that I think some things may happen? For sure at the end of the day be it in the real or new media we all live by the reputations that we build.
Jack did make an excellent and lost point that I have said on this site before. Those rumours often can impact on players. You may say who cares if it does. But what he also said was their families. As an example Anthony Parker has children and they may love the school they go to and have friends. To hear your dad may be moving to another city would not exactly sit well for a young child. They just love there dad and have no interest in the Raptors cap or his contract. They care about their family and the world they live in as far as school family and friends. So it does impact on people.
Doug Mclean who is a growing basketball fan he says on his show with Jack. He was joking if I worked out of my basement and was in my 40's. Bob McCown on the same station referenced that same characterization of bloggers. I don't take it personally myself. I find Doug to be amusing and Bob as well. But let's set the record straight not all bloggers are huddled in basements. Blogging is slowly becoming a very professional like source of media and entertainment. I welcome the chance to prove these ideas with anyone that wants to have the conversation. Blogging has had a big impact in politics as well. We are no different from any other form of media we have the good, the bad and the ugly too. But I personally take what I do here seriously and am trying to make a living at it. I think and hope I do a good job each day. I know that I work just as hard as anyone and do my best provide something that I can be proud of and that hopefully can stand against anything else that is out there based on it's merits. I thank the many folks that have respected the work I am doing Jack is one of those people. I expressed on the show what I feel people like him add to the mix in what I am doing. For the record as well I should point out that beyond the jokes Doug Mclean agreed with the points I was making. I doubt he could make me much of a hockey fan. But I respect people in all sports and understand that I am in the minority when it comes to Hockey. I use to like Hockey but have grown less and less interested as my love for basketball and my work around it has increased. That doesn't mean if I ever had the chance to go route on the Sabres the team I cheered for when I cared with Jack Armstrong that I would not cause I would for sure.
Mayo is restoring the name O.J
The Toronto Raptors will face the guy who I have voted for all year to be the Rookie of The Year. Mayo was much talked about in high school and built a level of hype that was not to the level of a guy like Lebron James but it has high. He would not be able to jump straight to the NBA like James based on the changed rules for entering the draft. He would play a season at U.S C where he would not match the hype that he went there with heading into his freshman year. People though he was very good but just not meeting the very high expectations that had been set out for him. He would end up being drafted lower than that #1 overall pick which based on what was thought in high school was a disappointment. The Minnesota Timberwolves would draft him and trade him for Kevin Love. Grizzlies fans are happy that they did. He has been nothing but spectacular for them and he joins a team with a lot of youth and talent.
The Raptors have long given up the right to over look anyone. Memphis has a lot of young players that will or should develop into great NBA talents. Marc Gasol is a beast of a player as well and has shown that the talent in his family is beyond his brother Pau. Mike Conley, Darrell Arthur and Rudy Gay are all young talented players as well. If the Grizzlies had drafted and been managed this well I think they would still be in Vancouver. It still hurts me at what a poor job Stu Jackson did with the Vancouver Grizzlies. You want to talk about irony the one pick that Grizzlies made that may have been the worst at least based on what they did, was that of Steve Francis. He would pout his way to the stage and was traded to Houston for a package that was far from ideal. Now Francis is a Grizzlies at the later stages of his career. Go figure.
So it will not be easy as you think. But if the Raptors get a win that will be 4 of 5 and they would head into a back to back with the Celtics with a lot of momentum something that has not been there for the defending champs of late. So see you later tonight with the Raptor Rewind.