I am trying to get excited as the season is almost here. That being said the expectations for this group are so negative it is hard to get excited. I am not good at faking it. So check in throughout the day for updates to this blog. I will post times for all the updates as we go along. Media day in many places around the league today including Denver where they wonder if Carmelo Anthony will even be there? If the Mello Trade to Nets happens that makes the outlook for the Raptors slightly more bleak.
You know you wait and wait for Media Day but honestly there isn't a lot to it. I mean it is what it is to a point. There has been lots of positive talk from everyone. But do we expect anything less? I think the most interesting to this point has been Jarret Jack. I have made the statement in the blog before...Jarrett Jack has shown more leadership in his time here than Jose Calderon has in his entire career. The point guard position is going to be interesting. Jose Calderon and if he can deal with being 2nd on the depth chart and deal with a fan base that isn't 100% behind him. Probably just do one more update with some final thoughts.
So Media day is in the books. Lots of talk of team chemistry and other stuff to try to give people hope. But when you get down to the reality of things, this Raptor team is going to be in serious trouble unless they make some moves. Not just minor ones, like the rumours out there. I am not ready to declare them last in the East. I think Pacers, Pistons and Philly all will contend for that. After that thought it is tough to say. Also with a Mello to the Nets possibility that would make the Raps division that much more of a challenge.
What I did like was hearing Demar DeRozan. He seems much more at ease talking to the media and I think ultimately he is the major key to this season. Team work and all of that is one thing. But in the NBA you need a few guys to lead the charge. The Pistons model of play the right way and actually having success with it seldom works. One of the best teams in the NBA in terms of a team concept is the Utah Jazz. How many titles have they won? You needs some stars to make it happen. Demar needs to be that star if the Raptors are to do anything this season. At the end of the day it goes against logic and good sense to imagine this team wins more games without CB4 then they did with him. I grow tired of the constant references of what Chris didn't do for this team. Here is a newsflash for everyone. Chris Bosh left the Raptors because they failed him in his eyes. Not that he failed in their eyes. There is no way I would believe anyone that says this team would not love to have him on the roster. Whatever he lacked or didn't have. They had 7 years to figure out how to add it to this team around him. They had 7 years to choose to be a Tax team and go all out to win. Those things didn't happen. While the Raptors want you to blame Chris for leaving the fact is they should be the ones taking the blame for not building a team good enough around him. You can run and hide from that fact all you like but if the grim reality that many feel is coming happens, there will be few places to hide.
Oh and one last thing. If I hear one more time that this team is going to play exciting basketball but likely lose 50 games, I may have to puke. I coached little kids at the start of the year I had a talk with them that went like this.
Me: So who has ever seen a team say...YEAH WE LOST.
Team: no response.
Me: That doesn't happen right?
Team: nods of agreement.
Me: So we are going to do are best to win and that will mean some people will play more than others but the goal will be to win because winning is fun.
Team: Cheers of agreement.
So if I can make 9-10 year old kids understand that simple concept, how come some people covering the NBA and fans of the NBA don't get it? By the way those kids never did lose as our team went undefeated and won the Championship. Losing no matter how you go about it....IS NEVER FUN...IT IS NEVER ENTERTAINING TO LOSE. It is about WINNING. Like Herm Edwards said coaching the JETS...YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!!. Can the odd time you except a lose and say that was a hell of a game. Absolutely but to lose consistently is NEVER FUN.
Sadly I am not confident the Raptors can do enough of that this season. Anyone who thinks that will be enjoyable along the way.....call me in January and tell me how much fun your having. I won't expect many calls.
The Fan 590 has all of the interviews from their 2+ hours of coverage this afternoon. So check it all out if you missed any of it.