Ezra Ace Caraeff | Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 12:56PM
The Toronto Raptors. What do you really know about them? They are, in fact, not a hockey team, and they are the only NBA franchise that has all their medical needs paid for by the government—unlike an injured Portland Trail Blazers team that is going bankrupt in the American health care system. But in addition to these obvious lies, we wanted to know more so we chatted with Sam Holako from the excellent Raptors Republic blog.
1. Do you think the Raptors can re-sign Chris Bosh during this offseason? Is it hard to ignore the deafening chatter that makes it seem like it’s a done deal that Bosh will be in Miami with Wade, or New York with Lebron?
I guarantee Chris Bosh will resign with the Raptors this summer for a couple reasons; he has expressed that he wants to be “the man” on whichever team he chooses and he won’t be teamed up with Wade or LeBron.
2. How has Turkoglu worked out for Toronto? There was a fair amount controversy here when Turkoglu nearly became a Blazer at $60 million, was it the same up there?
We just posted a piece on that, overall, he’s been good, not great. Most of the problem with Turkoglu is that he is 30 years old, and in the first year of a 5yr/$53mil contract. I wish we spent that money on a SF who can penetrate and defend the wing aggressively. Last thing we needed was a guy who needs the ball in his hands to be effective, that’s what Jose Calderon was for.
3. Do you feel that the city of Toronto stands in the way of appealing to big name free agents?
Toronto rivals New York, Chicago, and LA in terms of people, things to do, market size, and media frenzy. Like Chris Bosh said during All-Star weekend, he just needs prospective free-agents to spend a weekend with him in Toronto; that was his strategy. In terms of how cold it is, New York, Chicago, Minnesota, and Milwaukee all put us to shame. It’s only snowed here twice so far, and the second time was just this past Monday. It’s all about perception, if people actually hung out in Toronto, they would be blown away.
4. The Raptors are in the middle of the playoff hunt, and play much better at home, so how important is it for the team to climb past Atlanta and make it to the 4th seed?
If the Raptors catch Atlanta in the first round, it doesn’t matter whether or not we have home court, they absolutely owned us the two times we’ve played so far this year—ruined us. I’m hoping the Celtics drop to 4th or 5th (we can dream right), and are absolutely decimated by injury heading into the playoffs. If this happens, we might have a chance. Otherwise, what the Raptors are playing for is playoff experience that can be built on for next year and beyond.
5. As a Raptors fan, is it still perfectly acceptable to hate Vince Carter?
Lots of folks hate Carter, and he gets booed plenty. There is a distinct divide between those who can’t forgive, and those who have moved on. I personally think it’s lame, and he is the only Raptors, for now, who deserves to have his jersey retired when the time comes (Bosh will be the second one). The fact of the matter is that he was run out of town by an an inept General Manager and a finicky fan base. I admit, I wasn’t very happy with him his last couple of years on the team, but when we traded him to a division rival for Alonzo Mourning (who we bought out for the FULL value of his contract when he said he wouldn’t report for duty), Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first round picks that didn’t get us squat, my rage for VC was replaced by my rage for Babcock. Sorry for the tangent… old wounds.