Officially the Raptors do not have to report for duty till the end of the month. Things have already got underway though with everyone in town working out together. The unofficial start to training camp has already begun. DeMar DeRozan put out a photo last night from the Raptors practice facility with some of the guys working out on the court.
This is a positive thing to see that the team is making the effort to get to know one another and work together on their technically own time. Now is this all their idea? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Technically speaking coaches and the organization can not be involved in this workout. No one is technically required to be there. It kind of is like those non-mandatory workouts in the NFL to a degree. While you’re not required to be there it is in your best interest to be there.
Despite that it is good to see regardless of why. This team will need time to gel and work in a number of new pieces to the puzzle. A guy like Kyle Lowry can learn things like where all his new team like the ball in certain situations. Little things like group dynamics start to come together. What it does is allows the Raptors to be ready to get to work and focus on learning the systems and x’s and o’s that Dwayne Casey will start putting in place in a couple weeks.
Athletes get a bad rap at times for a variety of things. Would the average person do what they are doing right now? Could you imagine a school teacher deciding to come in two weeks prior to the end of summer vacation to their job? Would the average person come in for two weeks of unpaid training before they started a job? Some exceptional people might but in general we wouldn’t as a society.
It also speaks to all of those people that in the past have clamored for this team to tank. This shows the dedication and desire of these guys to win. DeMar DeRozan could be on a beach in California right now. Ed Davis could be having a vacation in Las Vegas. Andrea Bargnani could be spending time with his model girlfriend. Maybe even go on a double date with Landry Fields and his also highly attractive significant other.
None of this is the case though everyone is here and working to the goal of winning basketball games. These guys care about their job. They care about the team’s success as well as their own personal success.
As you head into your weekend do it with a smile as the Raptors are already working towards trying to do the best they can to provide you with some exciting and entertaining basketball and hopefully some more wins.