Friday, February 1, 2013

Gracias y adiós, José

I'm pretty angry. I've been supporting the Toronto Raptors for a long time, but I can't anymore. Not after this latest trade, this latest example of how inept and clueless team management is. Why they would trade the clear leader of this team, and the only reason the team's been playing with a modicum of respectability thus far in a hilariously awful season, is beyond the comprehension of any sane  NBA observer. José Calderón has consistently been the most reliable player on the team since he's been here - among the best in the NBA at running an offense and being a true leader on the team. He's been through so much nonsense over the years, shuffling without a word to the bench whenever top brass brings in the new-flavour point guard ... from Mike James to T.J. Ford, Jarrett Jack to Jerryd Bayless, and the latest, Kyle Lowry. And yet he's been nothing but professional, and aside from Damon Stoudamire, the best point guard in Raptors history. He doesn't deserve this. He doesn't deserve to be shipped to the Detroit fucking Pistons of all teams, a team with perhaps an even bleaker outlook than Toronto.

What now? What's the plan Bryan?! We lose our leader, and a promising young big man in Ed Davis, to bring in a max-contract player who can't even make an All-Star team. We've become wafer-thin at the point guard position, and completely log-jammed with swingmen. Who's going to have to sacrifice minutes ... Derozan? Anderson? Fields? The most obvious, and upsetting, is that bringing in a chucker like Rudy Gay who needs the ball to be effective stunts the development of Terrence Ross and Jonas Valenciunas. Despite all the losing, there was an upside to the team - young guys who had great potential, playing hard, developing. Not suggesting that we're going to be like the Thunder boys, but this was an entertaining unit to watch. And now? Done in by the salary cap, all because Bryan has a man-crush.

Thank you, and farewell José. I hope you re-sign with a contender, someone who will give you the respect you so deserve. I'm glad I attended a game this year, and got to see José achieve his second career triple double. Wherever he ends up, I'm going to try to see him the next time he comes to town ... give him a standing ovation, and remember him as one of the best to ever put on a Raptors jersey.


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