Started from the bottom now we here


The Toronto Raptors haven’t seen “glory days” since Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter donned the jersey with the dinosaur. The dynamic duo led the franchise to its first ever playoff appearance, yet shortly after, they took their talents elsewhere.

Chris Bosh roared his way onto the squad in 2004. He stuck around for two consecutive first-round playoff outs in 2007 and 2008. Then, Bosh left too.

The Toronto Raptors have recorded five total playoff appearances in their history. To put that in perspective, the Lakers boast 60. The NBA gods have frowned upon Canada for a long time, but now there seems to be a glimmer of hope.

Toronto Raptors make Drake 'global ambassador'

Drizzy Drake is the team’s global ambassador. What does that mean? No one knows exactly, but since being appointed the title, the news has gone viral. He put on a suit, rocked a fresh cut and rolled out a promo video. In it he says that “everyone is dying to support Toronto.”

While I’m not sure if that implies everyone wants to root for Toronto, or everyone wants to support Toronto because Drake does, the team roster isn’t too shabby this year.

They have potential with Rudy Gay, Landry Fields, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Steve Novak among others. The season has barely started and they put up a fight against the Miami Heat — I’ll give them that.

The Raptors aren’t anywhere near the lowly level of the Charlotte Bobcats. With the boost from Drake and fans filling seats, maybe, just maybe, the team could pull off a wild “Warriors, We Believe”-type season run.

The good thing is that no one really hates them. Fans hate the Heat, they hate the Lakers, they hate the Spurs, but no one hates on the underdogs. If the Raptors dig deep and go on a winning streak, I truly believe America will stand behind them (even if they are in Canada).

To amp up the media coverage, personally I’d recommend that the retro jerseys with the actual Raptor on the front be brought back into rotation.

When Jay Z designed Brooklyn, he pushed them into a simple and clean, black and white image. In my humble opinion, I say Drake should go the opposite route — loud, bright and in-your-face — with Raptors everywhere.

Regardless of what direction Drake leads the team’s image, I predict that by the end of this season, no one will take the Raptors lightly. I’m saying that they’ll become as much of a threat as the Blazers or the Pelicans. At any moment, their record might be slipping, but if you overlook them, they’ll double cross you.

The Raptors promo video gave me the chills, and it caused me to develop a small inkling of faith for the fans in Toronto. Within the next few seasons, will the Raptors chant, “started from the bottom now we here,” or will Drake be fed up, say something and leave like all the rest?

As published in the Pepperdine student-publication, the Graphic.

Let the trash talk begin


Nash and Sacre

I know, I know. It’s the preseason. Only 21 games that don’t really matter have happened. I told myself I wouldn’t get too excited.

But then I turned on the tail end of the Brooklyn-Wizards game yesterday. And then Glen Rice Jr. had a dunk at the buzzer to send the game into OT. After that I watched the Lakers take on the Nuggets, and barely recognized their roster (I’m all caught up now).

So now I’ll dedicate my life to the NBA, once again, as I do every year come fall. The battle between game times and homework assignments begins, usually resulting in late nights; sometimes from busting out papers or cramming for tests, other times they’re from being too pumped up off a close game to sleep. Heat-Spurs Game 6, I was buzzing well past 2 a.m.

From the two preseason games I’ve seen thus far, here’s my quick take in seven sentences:

The Lakers show promise. I’m sad Metta is gone. Purple and yellow has given Nick Young superpowers. Xavier has a cool name pronunciation. Sacre has cool tattoos. Chris Kaman defied my expectations. Jason Kidd looks weird as the head honcho in a suit.

As far as I’m concerned, the NBA season is officially underway.

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