Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

Lithuania and the Raptors have more in common than you might think.

Today’s game was billed as “Lithuanian Heritage Night”, which made me stop and think for a couple of reasons. First of all, I wondered how a game played at 1pm could possibly considered a “night”. But more importantly, I wondered if there was more to our connection with Lithuania than just the two bearded gentlemen pictured above. So I did a bit of research, and found that Toronto Raptors organization and the country of Lithuania match up pretty well.

The Republic of Lithuania The Toronto Raptors
Country name begins with an L. Most games end with an L.
Located at the geographic centre of Europe. Located at the geographic centre of the universe.
Last occupied by the Soviets in 1990. Last occupied the playoffs in 2008.
President Dalia Grybauskaite, nicknamed “The Iron Lady”, has a black belt in Karate. Coach Dwane Casey, nickname pending, has a Frequent Buyer card at Baskin Robbins.
The Rock Pigeon, a national bird, is celebrated in the month of April. The Rock, a symbol of commitment to defensive play, is celebrated until the playoffs begin in April.
Part of the economically-challenged European Union. Part of the winning-incapable Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.



Dear Mr. Van Gundy,

I can understand your view that Raptor fans shouldn’t have been so excited about getting a slice of pizza at the end of Monday’s game against your Orlando Magic. From an objective standpoint, it’s pretty silly that we might get so excited over a measly slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza. Objectively, it’s silly that we would cheer more loudly for Ed Davis’ otherwise meaningless basket than for any other moment during the game.

But I would like to try something for a second. A little thought experiment. Just take a deep breath…clear your mind…and imagine…that you are a Raptor fan. Okay, if you haven’t already let out a shriek, slammed your laptop shut, and run to the nearest corner to curl up and rock back and forth in a shivering ball, stay with me for a moment.

Imagine that you are a Raptor fan.

Imagine that instead of heading into April gearing up for a playoff run, you head back into the “rebuilding process”, an experience similar to building a sand castle too close to the waves that will inevitably erase everything you’ve done.

Imagine knowing that any talented player having a breakout year on your team probably has one foot out the door already.

Imagine that after a tough home game, instead of stepping out into the mild Orlando evening, you step out into wet snow blowing in from Lake Ontario, mixed perfectly with diesel fumes from the Gardiner Expressway and the stench of another loss.

Imagine that your draft history includes Rafael Araujo.

Imagine that instead of having a front row seat at the Dwight Howard Show every night, you get to watch Aaron Gray handle the ball like he’s wearing oven mitts.

You see what I’m saying: we don’t have much to cheer about here in the world of Toronto basketball. Or, for that matter, Toronto sports in general. So yes, we cheered when Ed Davis got us a free slice of pizza. We cheered because our team rarely gives us anything other than headaches, heartache, and a deep sense of existential doubt about one’s very life.

I hope you can understand where we’re coming from, and that in future you’ll be a bit more sensitive to our plight. Have a safe trip back to Orlando, and say hello to all the Canadians who go down there every year to boost the local economy, and to escape the bleak landscape that is winter sports in Toronto.


Holy Craptors

The Orlando Magic held a practice today, but to make it seem more realistic than a normal practice, they invited the Raptors instead of using the standard pylons.

Final score: Orlando 112, Toronto 72.

For those of you who are as good at math as the Raptors are at scoring, that’s FORTY POINTS. Ouch.