Change Is Not Easy

First off Happy Father's Day. To be honest, I lost my father and for folks in my position, this day has mixed emotions. I have mentioned my father a few times in this blog. He was not much of a basketball fan. But he did have a passion and love for sports. If he was alive today he would be glued to his T.V watching Mike Wier try to win a U.S Open. The lesson that I have always taken with me from my father is to be grateful for all that comes my way. I get to interview people and have had a chance to take my love of sports and try to make a career out of it. So it has always made me grateful for anything that comes from that. He living in Hamilton and working at Dafasco was a big Ti-Cat fan. I had the chance to cover some Cat games and go in the press box. Covering the CFL may for some not seem like a huge deal. But being in that press box at Ivor Wynne was a place I am sure my dad would have loved to have been. So I consider all that I do a privilege. It takes a lot of ego to work in the media on any level. But the lesson in that story I just told is what will always keeps me humble and grounded. So for anyone that is in my spot on this day, I hope you can have memories and remembrances that you can keep with you like that. Also, if you still are lucky enough to have your father be grateful for that everyday and not just today. Trust me in saying there are lots of folks that would trade to be in your shoes and have a father to talk with and enjoy. I am not sure what my dad would think about what I do. I would hope, that he would be proud and happy about all that I have done. I know this much the Dino Nation Blog would have a few more hits each day because my dad would likely tell everyone he knew to come on the site.

You always hear the expression that these are not you father's (Insert Team Name). Like everything in life sports teams change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much. Raptors made a major change last year that would rank in the not so much category. So here we sit on the verge of change again. Some has already happened in moving Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans. Change is something that is easy to sell in hard times. Obama became President on a message of change and hope. Those two words just go naturally together. The reasons you make change is to provide a new and better outlook on things.

But not all change is good change. Chris Bosh being traded would rank in that for me. Some people may think so but it has been said in this blog many times how much I disagree with that. In fact if Bosh is traded I think it will be a loss of hope for the near future for a great deal of Raptor fans. Trading Bosh is never going to result in a deal that will match the level of player he is. People are always so quick to focus on what is wrong with Chris Bosh and they forget far to fast all the things that are right. If you are expecting to Bosh to be a Kobe, Lebron or D-Wade you will never be happy with the guy. However he has shown that at his own position on the floor he can be ranked up with the very best at his position. He is a 4 time all star and you could even make the argument that early in his career he deserved another. The constant number of Bosh rumours will continue and it does not mean much of anything. Lots of times these rumours that pop up are nothing more than test balloons to see what the reaction might be. Like say Golden State has interest in Bosh as that was the latest rumour I can remember off the top of my head. Why not put a story out that suggests a trade and see what happens. Have the Raptors and Warriors talked? I am sure they have but just as sure as I am that Raptors have talked to many teams. There is no way to truly know what gets talked about unless someone tells us. That does not happen much if NBA G.M's want to have a solid relationship with other teams. So you get these stories leaked from sources with in the organization. Every once in awhile one of these stories will be proven to be true. But just because you read something on the internet, in a newspaper or even on T.V or Radio you hear it. That does not mean anything beyond speculation 95% of the time. So as this summer rolls along keep that in mind. My speculation is that Chris Bosh will remain a Raptor and be in training camp this year. I have no sources to confirm this, it is just a general sense that I get.

Change in life can be a painful process. Wayne and Garth in Wayne's World said that they fear change. I am with them on that. Change is always a scary thing. That is why you need to have that hope to go along with it. Because without hope and faith that the change will make things better you have nothing. However to just state you want change is not enough. It takes a ton of work to make that change happen. Be it changing a country like Obama or just changing ourselves it is never easy. It takes intelligence, dedication, drive and the odd lucky break never hurts. Bryan Colangelo I think has all of those qualities to do the job. What he will turn this Raptor team into over the summer is going to be very interesting. The next part of putting that puzzle together happens this Thursday with the draft. I fully expect and yes hope that the Raptors are going to walk away from the draft with 2 first round picks.

I am not sure if this is the debate in the Raptors war room but it seems in the fan base and media it is down to two guys. Demar DeRozan or Jonny Flynn. Derozan is the favourite of most. The Raptors desperate need for a wing player and DeRozan have the athletic finishing ability that Raptors have not had since flight 15 headed to New Jersey. Flynn is a tough guy that would also fill a glaring need in back up point guard. Jose Calderon has proven that even though he is a starter worthy player that playing extended is not something his body can handle. Flynn is more or less a T.J Ford like replacement. Not in terms of personality but in terms of offering a dramatic change of pace. But be it DeRozan or Flynn the Raptors have more than one need to get back on track. That is why the 3 million or so dollars they acquired in cash considerations will be vital and will allow them to buy a 2nd 1st round pick. Honestly this MUST happen in my view. So I am planning based on it happening. There are 2 combos that I like a lot for the Raptors based on picking DeRozan or Flynn.

The DeRozan Option:

Raptors select at 9- Demar DeRozan (USC)
They acquire a pick in range of 25-30 and draft Pat Mills ( St. Mary's)

This gets the Raptors the best option they can hope for at the wing staying a 9. It also gets you a point guard in Pat Mills that in other drafts would be at the top of the class in terms of point guards. This draft has depth at the point guard position and it would be a crime if the Raptors did not take advantage of that. Mills is an Aussie like Nathan Jawai. In fact they are good friends. So in addition to getting a point guard that scouts loved at the Olympics and got praise from Chris Paul in playing against him twice. They also bring in someone that may add a level of comfort for Jawai and help in his development from a mental point of view. In the past Raptors had Jose and Garbo from Spain. Why not have a couple young Aussies to team up on the roster.

The Flynn Option:

Raptors Select at 9- Jonny Flynn ( Syracuse )
They acquire a pick in the 18-23 range and select Sam Young (Pitt)

Bryan Colangelo stated this team needs to get tougher. If you thought he was joking the trade for Reggie Evans should make you a believer he was not. Flynn despite is small size is a warrior in the way a guy like an Allen Iverson is. Not to say he plays anything like Iverson in terms of game. But in terms of heart and desire. Just look to the game the eliminated Syracuse from the NCAA Tournament for your proof. Young is part of a very tough team out of Pitt and he would offer a different answer to the wing problem than Derozan. But that does not mean it would not be a good one. If Colangelo pulled off this 2 some he again makes another statement to how this Raptor team is getting tougher and meaner. The idea of an Alvin Williams working with a talent like Jonny Flynn is something to be excited about.

At the end of the day, if Raptors can pull off one or the other it will address 2 big needs for this team. I have mentioned in talking with folks about this draft what Miami was able to do last year. They added Beasley and Chalmers and they became rotation players right away. I think that if you can do the same if you are the Raptors this year you can be very happy with things.

So once again Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Also for those without a father on this day my thoughts and prayers go out to you. But be it Mother's Day, Father's Day or Flag Day. Do not just leave it to the holidays on a calender to show the people you care about that you love them and they matter to you. We never know how long any of us will be here. Do not forget to do it or you may live with regret for the rest of your days. We all share a love of basketball but as human beings we all share some other things as well. The ability to love and be loved. Love in and of itself is the biggest risk of all. So if you love someone be it your Dad, Mom, Wife, Kids or anyone else. Always let them know it every chance you get.


  1. Thank You. I put a lot of heart and soul into this one.

  2. i agree with your FLynn option, i love flynn as well as young. young's a tough guy, he can fill the 3 or 4 for the raps bench.
    i disagree with keeping bosh though. Although its true we dont get equal value in a trade, next year he would want a max deal which would hinder our ability to sign key free agents. A trade in my opinion, would be better than losing him for nothing in 2010.

  3. Good post James.
    I enjoy the blog.