For years many have wanted Jamal Maglorie to be a Raptor. That however stopped being a good idea at least 5 years ago perhaps even longer. When the Hornets left the Eastern Conference was the peak of Maglorie's NBA Career. I have always had a strong desire to have a Canadian be part of the Raptors roster. However this is not what I had in mind. The fact Maglorie, time and time again has taken a pass on playing for Team Canada has made him fall in my eyes. I think it is really a shame that someone like this will be in the history books as the first Canadian to throw on a Raptor jersey. He fit right in with that group in Miami as far as I was concerned. Not that he played much. Sure it is a one year deal and will not impact on the bottom line at all. It just upsets me based on the history this signing will represent. Something this guy never has done for his country. I would sooner have Justin Bieber on the Raptors than him.
This news broke late last night it followed a press conference that was truly depressing. It wasn't meant to be and it does have some excited about the future of the Raptors. But that would be starting next season and not this season. If I was a casual basketball fan and watched that it gave me no reason on earth to watch the Raptors this year. While the honesty of it all should be admired and it is better than setting up unrealistic expectations like has been done in the past. It still was a bitter pill to swallow knowing that this team has little to no desire to improve in the short term beyond internal improvement. A signing of a guy like Maglorie only drives home that point more.
There has never been a Raptor season I have looked forward to less that I can recall. If I as someone that has supported this franchise from it's birth feel that way I can only imagine how a casual fan feels about it. Expect attendance for the Raptors to take a nose dive this season. There lack of focus on this season combined with an NBA Lockout that promised competitive balance and only served to line Owners pockets while still giving players the freedom to force their way out of markets. If this plan doesn't work as the Raptors envision the countdown to Demar DeRozan leaving is on. If DeRozan becomes a star and then follows the same path as all the rest it will be a serious blow to this franchise. There will be no turning him into a villain and making him the bad guy. Something they were able to do with Chris Bosh and were given indirectly more than enough to help from Bosh's own actions.
This season has been made pretty irrelevant before it ever started. While next season might be the most important in the history of this franchise. It will be one of those fork in the road moments. If things don't go well it could be a serious blow to this franchise and it's long term outlook.
I feel for Dwane Casey who is in a tough situation with this schedule and a very short training camp. It is going to be tough to implement his system and keep this team rolling through a challenging to say the least schedule. But this is not that Adam Sandler movie where you can press the fast forward button. You can call it re-buliding, building or changing cultures. Raptor fans have heard it all before and newsflash some of them are pretty much fed up with it. The Raptors have set the bar as low as possible for this season and perhaps as high as possible for next season. So see you at the NBA lottery where we can talk about how you can rig a ping pong ball. That is always fun every year.