As Toronto Raptor fans we hope for the best and expect the worst. It's almost as if the stench and neurosis of being a Maple Leaf's fan has permeated our blessed hardwood.
The last serious taste of success we've had as T.O. sports fans was when the Blue Jay's were unstoppable at the beginning of the nineties. Since then, we have been lied to, cheated, mistreated and have basically become the victims in a country song.
We've become the b*tchy chick at the bar who treats guys like crap and then complains to her girlfriends about how crappy guys are. We fall for silly promises and at the end of the season we wonder why we're staring at ourselves in the mirror with smeared eyeliner and a f*cking bus ticket.
And every GM that comes along...we pray he's different. We take the smooth talk and the magic show. We look at the shiny new whatever and believe the hype. We've been naive and now we're cynical. We've been "gee golly," and now "we're what have you done for me lately..."
I just read the scrambled mess of an article over at Raptors Republic about not knowing what this team will be. Are they bad or good? Are they going to do it or not going to do it?
To me these are useless questions. Good questions are, are we being lied to? Are we being sold a bunch of hype? Did this guy Colangelo do everything that was humanly possible to make this team a winner?
What we need to know is that Colangelo is the real deal...RELAX!! He is.
This is the dude. The hombre. The gunslinger. The guy who, when he messes up, fixes things because it's his mission.
Did you ever see his face during a Raptors loss last year? It was like this grim darkness was invading him. You expected him to punch the next cheerleader he saw. This guy takes losing personally. This guy doesn't shy away from the criticism. This guy walks his talk and will try anything to make us better...
Not only is he trying, he did it. Bench sucks? Welcome to a deep bench. No athleticism? Boom here's athletic players. Soft? Tougher.
Rebounding? Well all right, that's still a work in progress, but it's certainly better.
The reason we have no idea whether this team is going to be great is because it's based on a relatively new basketball paradigm that is still being worked out. The "everybody can play multiple positions, pass and shoot" model.
Again a team that wasn't very athletic, but could spread the floor with great shooters. Had big men who could pass the ball extremely well. Defensively challenged. Not a great rebounding team. But they were a match up nightmare for any and all teams.
And if Chris Webber hadn't gone down with his knee at the beginning of that last playoff run...sigh...
In business, the people with the greatest successes are the people that make the biggest mistakes, learn and then fix them.
Remember the Jordan commercial where he missed this many shots, and that many game winners, he did this wrong and that wrong and that's why he was who he was. I believe Colangelo has that kind of drive and that kind of integrity.
The four-team trade he pulled off this season had the finesse and unparalleled fire of a Jordan dunk from the free throw line.
We are a work in progress and it's time to be patient again T.O. sports fans. We were a lottery team last year and this year we are projected in to the playoffs as high as fourth, and that you have to lay at Colangelo's feet.
Remember, it's the Leafs that haven't won a Stanley Cup in 50 years, not the Raptors. And how many Leaf articles have you read in the last few years saying that they want their own Colangelo?